Arrack in Kitulgala

Arrack in Kitulgala
October 12, 2009

As the old saying
doesn’t go, but should,
experience is the best seasoning.

One can’t expect arrack to taste the same
in a quiet, well lit parlor
as it did in the coal-black night,
lit only by a few stars
and the gently glowing cell phones
of a dozen new friends,
with the roar of the unseen river
drowning all but shouted conversation.

Nor will стандарт remain the same
as one gets farther and farther
from Arbatskaya, chill the throat
as it did in the garishly lit,
painfully loud bar, football blaring
from ten different screens,
the men drinking while the women
wept at the Holy Friday service.

Do visitors to the Bluegrass
sit at home, drinking Ale 8 and Kentucky Ale,
shake their heads deprecatingly,
say, sorrowfully, “it just doesn’t taste the same
as it did in Lexington.”