Another Caesar salad, named in Mexico
for a Roman Emperor and delivered
by a man called Nestor. The croutons
snap like twigs in a dry forest
and the dressing carries the tang
of an olive grove in flames.
He thinks of Penelope gently
cracking eggs and grinding anchovies
to make this very dish, until
all the lettuce was finally gone
and it was time for him to leave.
Now he cleans his bowl
so he can set it outside the door
like evidence of his simple need
to return home, even if just
for one meal, the culmination
of a hotel menu and distance.