East India Grill Villanelle

Across the table, Bridget sneaks a smile;
She’s caught me staring past her at the man
Who brings us curried dishes, hot and mild.

His eyes are blue, intensely blue, hot sky;
His hair, dark gold; his skin like cinnamon.
He speaks in quick-soft accents; Bridget smiles.

We’ve come here in our summer skirts, heels high,
To feast on fish and spices, garlic naan,
Bare-legged in the night air, hot and mild.

And then to linger late by candlelight
In plain view of the waiter where he stands
And watches from the doorway, sneaks a smile.

I’d dress in cool silks if I were his wife.
We try to glimpse his hands – no wedding band?
The weather in his eyes is hot and mild.

He sends a dish of mango-flavored ice
With two spoons, which is sweet; I throw a glance
Across the shady patio and smile.

But this can’t go on forever, or all night
– or could it? Some eternal restaurant
Of longing not quite sated, hot and mild.

And longing is delicious, Bridget sighs;
The waiter bows; I offer him my hand.
His eyes are Hindu blue and when he smiles
I taste the way he’d kiss me, hot and mild.

(from the collection Late)

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East India Grill Villanelle