by Marvin R. Hiemstra
Gerard and I trained out of Amsterdam early
while canal ducks, snuggled in the fallen leaves,
dreamed of a day bobbing for bread and berries.
We were off on a keenly anticipated jaunt
to see the luster of Antwerp in the sunlight:
that dazzling day painted Peter Paul Rubens’s
palace, garden pavilion, studio: every color
of delicious with moments of orange veined
marble. Although the day was bright, jovial
ghosts of roly-poly ruddy nudes played hide
and seek and tickle in the corridors. After that
we knew only a lavish lunch would do.
It was Café Panache: a violinist doing a pizzicato
Boccherini, orchids nudging chins at every table,
a solemn dowager in a peacock feather turban
just finishing up. Her dessert arrived, a banana
all alone on a platter, yet deceptively modest
in the peel. We gazed in disbelief as she gently
manipulated knife and fork to render that banana
flawlessly nude before a quick, delicious devour.