You walk into an Indian restaurant to
the authenticity of exotic flavors
Brought to India by Spanish and Portuguese
From the Americas and Caribbean,
Cultivated by West African slaves
Southeast Asian rice who were
To European traders by Ugandan chieftains
In exchange for central Asian cloth.
Your tikka masala – national dish of Britain –
Spatters the shirt you
On vacation in Puerto Rico,
Woven in Indonesian looms
From Deep South cotton.
And you attempt to
On the conversation at hand:
Your colleague from down the hall,
who speaks the same language.
Something about computers… Networks… Packets…
How can this world be so universal?
So impossibly, unfathomably…
That you cannot but feel complicit in the
Of its atrocities? And yet so
That – despite the company of fellows –
There remains a distance across the table
Which leaves you, ironically,