How to Eat Alone

How to Eat Alone
By Daniel Halpern
While it’s still light out
set the table for one:
a red linen tablecloth,
one white plate, a bowl
for the salad
and the proper silverware.
Take out a three-pound leg of lamb,
rub it with salt, pepper and cumin,
then push in two cloves
of garlic splinters.
Place it in a 325-degree oven
and set the timer for an hour.
Put freshly cut vegetables
into a pot with some herbs
and the crudest olive oil
you can find.
Heat on a low flame.
Clean the salad.
Be sure the dressing is made
with fresh dill, mustard
and the juice of hard lemons.
Open a bottle of good late harvest zinfandel
and let it breathe on the table.
Pour yourself a glass
of cold California chardonnay
and go to your study and read.
As the story unfolds
you will smell the lamb
and the vegetables.
This is the best part of the evening:
the food cooking, the armchair,
the book and bright flavor
of the chilled wine.
When the timer goes off
toss the salad
and prepare the vegetables
and the lamb. Bring them out
to the table. Light the candles
and pour the red wine
into your glass.
Before you begin to eat,
raise your glass in honor
of yourself.
The company is the best you’ll ever have.

2 thoughts on “How to Eat Alone

  1. One thing I couldn’t help but thinking was how elaborate in which the preparation of this meal was… not to say that this wasn’t believable… but it was something on my mind. Having said that, this one is really good. The lines are concise and roll along smoothly, and last line punctuates the piece perfectly. Well done.

  2. Hope your book turns out.
    The former-virgin olive oil…that killed me. Going to the effort to make such a meal is reserved for sharing. Claim it. Stand on your own. Do it for yourself. Just lay off red meat for awhile after. Three pounds of lamb can bring on a piercing case of gout.

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