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Sport 39: 2011

My first husband

My first husband

We ate a dégustation meal, nine courses. Matching glasses filled
with wine, something French like joie de vivre.
Cold sherry, salted cod pressed firm. I confessed well-travelled
as our second course arrived. Cervena

battened out, carpaccio-thin slivers, herbed and truffled, sliced,
frozen spheres of semi-dried tomato sorbet.
We shared a glass of rosé from the Barossa, eating whitebait panfried
in beurre noisette, sugar

snap peas and celeriac purée. Chardonnay moistened our lips,
loosened tongues and we remembered
the nineties, the ways we reinvented ourselves when we were still
modern. The evening’s romance

suggested we drink something purple—borscht. Full, earthy, cold.
Fragrant basil oil floated, and
another glass. There were three slender slices, cooked medium-rare,
Hawkes Bay shortloin

and I probably told you about pet lambs I fed late-winter, to eat
come Christmas. And because
I’d told you about the lambs, I’d have told you about turkey-bashing
expeditions, chain gangs

in the tractor shed, heading, slicing, gutting, dipping, plucking, and
bagging, and the smell of
freshly eaten grass, so when the duck farcé arrived perfectly formed
as meatloaves with roast daikon

page 307 you’d have been glad I’d stopped talking. Another glass of wine with
talleggio cheese and peach
compôte signalling a final approach. You cleansed your palate
with Granny Smith sorbet,

lemongrass syrup. You felt your moment nearing, the grand finale of
your question. Nutmeg
brulée, Valrhona mousse, raspberry coulis, a single scoop of vanilla
ice cream, and my no. It was nearly

a perfect dinner. Later at the bar, I saw him dancing. I left you to
           admire his
pale blue suit and walking stick.
I asked if he was married. I had to check. I had to check. The time
           was right
for him to marry me.