It’s 11:35 pm on a Saturday night
and I’m in the produce section
picking through the crimini mushrooms.
Then hefting the avocados,
gently squeezing, feeling for
that perfect soft firmness.
Just past the bakery, I always
stall at the cheese counter,
wandering around like I’m
looking for a new friend.
I’m always reaching for the
soft wedges of brie, and my
favorite Fromage D’Affinois,
sometimes with truffles, but
usually not. I like it soft enough
that you can spread it like butter,
but with a rind that is firm
and chewy. I’d like to have
a whole shelf in my refrigerator
dedicated to cheese and I’d carry
a plug of brie wrapped in wax
paper in my pocket so I could
have a nibble anytime I wanted.
In my pocket, close to my body
it would stay nice and warm
and soft, ready to eat. My last
stop is the dark chocolate display.
Only single origin bars for me,
and at least 60% cacao content.
Lately I’ve been liking the Asian
bars, particularly those from
Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
They’re deep and smoky and leathery
and remind me of volcanoes.
But there’s also a French bar
made with trinitario beans from Cuba
that is so smooth, and dark, and creamy
that I can never get enough.
And there’s also a bar from Brazil
that is smooth and woody and earthy
that reminds me of the forest at night,
dark and quiet and your senses are
heightened, and even though you
can’t see much, you hear every
little sound and you can smell
the damp leaves and the piney
perfume of the towering trees,
and the rotting wood of a
fallen tree reminds
me of fresh mushrooms.
And so the bars leave with
me, clutched in my hand,
not trusted to the bag,
and I can hardly wait to
get home and carefully snap
off a piece with a sharp clack,
then slip it into my mouth,
onto my tongue, where I
hold it for a moment,
then retreat back into
that dark, delightful forest.