On the Way to Ceylon

Every so often I have to go to Kensington because my tea’s run out, so I take the 510 from Spadina that winds through a century-old time lapse. On my way to Ceylon in the red tram, Sussex and Nassau on suspended wires thread by, and eventually when I disembark, a walking tin-man lamplights me through a Farejon familiar past. 

My father’s poniard case hangs among the leather at the King. At Global Cheese while I sample, out of the corner of my eye, my grandmother in a stoop, is pulling teat, squirting goat’s milk, up-down, up-down, between taut palms. At Meat Locker I collect a couple pounds of pork hock to silken my chickpea soup. But at some point I remember that my destination is really the House of Spice.

Even so, on entering this doorway, although I’ve come for one thing, my eyes begin another list: anise, bay-leaf, leaf-green masala, cardamom, saffron, nutmeg in phantom mace mask, cloves, some to cook with, some to hang from my ceiling in a paisley  potpourri cloth pouch.

This bondage brings water to my tongue, savory and piquant, indifferent to who I’ve been,  want to be, or who I am.


©Cynthia James – April 2015

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