Odysseus Orders Room Service
by Robert Wynne

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.


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