We Serve Only Lunch. Sundays Closed.

The Restaurant

Three generations, a loony son
Two vultured noses, one humped back
Sniff for money from table to table
Gnarled digits clutch anglophile photographs
Long live the queen
And of course, our country too.

At 93 he is the owner taking orders
He ignores our table, a whiney waiter sidles in
Times are bad, these people don’t pay
We order Sali Boti. Fish Patra.
Mutton Berry Pulav. Caramel Custard one-by-three.
We will pay. No card only cash.

Tongues clean teeth on diamond studded faces
Nobody chats, everybody chews, in-between courses
They order more food. Locals throng here
Foreigners arrive with guidebooks and diahorrea pills
The owner eats a plate of watermelon
Spitting out seeds the colour of peeled ceiling.

For ninety-three years he has worshipped the fugacious customer
Sweet and servile, I wonder if he goes home and beats his wife.