The head waiter in the dining room of the Hotel Vojvodina
had a voice of screws and diesel, the great bulbs of an iron
chandelier hung over him like a crowning aurora, a cluster
of alien moons with dimmer switch and milky atmosphere.
He served us plates of fried eggs, three third eyes,
enough to count as witnesses, pale whites rheumy
around the yolk and two burnt fuses of bacon.
I drew my knife across them, mindful of Buñuel’s
instructions for the perfect Martini, as fixed as
the waiter at the Hotel Vojvodina bent between service
and rigidity, shouting from his chair into the kitchens
through swing doors laden with generations of paintwork,
shades of Tito’s low-lit moon country —
the glass protecting it steamed with nostalgia,
for wartime partisans, brass bands of empire
and movements of the Tartar through black hair
and olive skins, the townswomen in the kitchens
of the Hotel Vojvodina dropping another three eggs
into a smoking pan as if it were an act of divination.