At twelve I attempted

puff pastry,
by Julia Child.
(I could learn anything
from a book
but common sense.)

My flour and butter and rolling pins labored under
her diagrams and discourse:

how to fold
sweet butter
into art

At twenty-one learned how
that crust can enfold bitter
sweet chocolate,

and how well café au lait accompanies
a breakfast of books

in the back room
of D.G. Wills
and Coffeehouse.

(It was 1980, a year of rain and fog and anti-
Corner of La Jolla
Boulevard and Pearl.

Rough mahogany floor salvaged
from packing crates, walls of politics, theology,
poetry, mildew.
A translucent roof, green plastic, joints inhabited
by tiny spiders.
Foggy mornings heated only
by history.)

Learned there
how cream
swirls into coffee

first curled my tongue
around espresso

melted old novels
into my mouth
like handmade chocolate truffles

That winter it rained long hours
of coffee and notebooks and chocolates and pens
while I huddled, tucked into my shelter–the armchair
across from anthropology,
arm’s reach from travel

or for breakfast
sunny mornings
sipped the patio
walled and enfolded
by honeysuckle
honeybees and yellow spines
of National
writing haiku
to the nectar
and the sparrows

Monday nights
packed swaying
shoulder to shoulder
under the beat
of poetry,
I proclaimed from my own ragged notebooks my sweetest ambitions, my thirsty love,
my pain too bitter for chocolate,
my hunger deeper

than pain
au chocolat.


Previously published online on Themestream

Copyright © 2012 Elizabeth Evans, All Right Reserved.


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