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April 2016, vol 12 no 1

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Judson Evans

Fava Bean Soup


We hiked the dusty country road on Santorini but the Folk Museum was closed. A mysterious Greek woman, mistress of the place, invited us to return later that afternoon for a festival of wine and fava bean soup. We scraped together "dress up clothes" − anything black − skin-tight Calvin Klein disco shirts under jackets, but when we returned she was gone. We weren't sure how to enter, how to decipher the obscure etiquette everyone knew but the two of us. Weren't sure two men as we were dressed and as we were together would pass muster. Tiny Greek flags flapping blue and white stripes from lines strung across the courtyard, the priest kissing an enormous Bible threaded through the knot-hole of the miniscule white-washed church. Women kissing the Bible, women kissing women, men kissing the Bible, men kissing men. I knew the etiquette of the ancient symposium. I knew the multiple ancient Greek words for love. The roles, inflections, gradations. I was determined that we would get bowls of the soup. In the end we were observers not participants. We watched soup simmer in huge galvanized tubs, old men stirring the pot with oars, but never ventured into the crowd...joined the dance.

lovers from Cavafy
dry kindling of grape vines
catching fire


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