November 9 Poems

I have a shoe box,

two shoe boxes,

full of dark chocolate wrappers.

An archive of my obsession

some would say.

There’s also a drawer full

at my office as well.

When I showed them to a colleague

she burst out laughing,

couldn’t believe it.

But this is serious.

Dark chocolate is a serious matter.

 

I can’t be bothered with candy

masquerading as chocolate.

I have to have the good stuff,

the single origin chocolate

from plantations in far off places—

Madagascar, Ghana, Papua New Guinea,

Brazil, and the Dominican Republic.

But before these artistic wrappers

in their various colors and designs

go into the box, the chocolate

must be consumed, and that

is a serious matter indeed.

 

First, selection. What kind of

chocolate am I in the mood for?

Something bright and fruity,

like the cacao from Madagascar,

or something dark and earthy

like the cacao from Indonesia.

Once the selection is made,

I prepare to document

the experience, out comes the

black hard covered notebook,

the chocolate journal.

Here I record the name of the bar,

its origin, cacao percentage, and

various other things like

appearance, texture, snap,

and tasting notes, like chocolatey,

sour, fruity, sweet, roasted, and so on.

 

I don’t get all weird and vigorously

sniff my chocolate like a bloodhound,

but I do slow down, savor it,

swishing the macerated chocolate

around on my tongue, my eyes

may even be closed., and my

head tilted back slightly.

 

But sometimes I just need some

dark chocolate, now. A fix?

Tear off wrapper.

Snap.

Pop into mouth.

Chew.

Sigh.

Swallow.

Smile.

Relax.

Breathe.

Repeat.

 

But new bars take more time,

more serious reflection,

and note taking. It might

take a few days or even a week

to finish a single bar,

square by square,

But if I’m really smitten,

it might only last an hour,

or less. It all depends on

the day, the bar, the mood,

the lighting, the music, the company.

 

Then the wrappers go into the box,

or drawer. Lest you think I’m a hoarder,

those wrappers, at least the more interesting,

more artistic ones are repurposed,

finding their way onto the covers

of my notebooks, where they remind

me of their deep, dark, deliciousness.


 

The sidewalk is paved
In leaves. I walk
On the rising yellow
Tide, lift my shuffling
Heels. There’s a crackle
In my ears. I can’t
Get over summer
Gone. The hills
Have been painted
Sunset for weeks.
Tree lined streets.
Red rivers of leaves
Weave down the asphalt.
Cresting waves
Chase after cars. I lay
Floating down the sidewalk.

Anya

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