The Michelin Inspector

by Amy Scattergood on September 6, 2009

citroen

 

THE MICHELIN INSPECTOR


Eats alone in the ten abandoned rooms

of the provincial hotel, the paper stars

 

in his guide cut out and pasted to the tenuous wallpaper

like games his children might play if he could still remember them.

 

The notes in his anonymous book are exact,

coded, hieroglyphs for broken sauces, overdone halibut,

 

ways to escape his life filed in triplicate

in metal cabinets in a discreet Paris office.

 

Later, the bill paid, the receipts neatly folded, the real stars

erasing too and just as indifferent

 

to the suicidal chef as his invisible bosses,

he unlocks the revolver from the little glove compartment

 

of his corrugated tin Citroën and fires

into the undone sky, empties the cylinder into each threadbare tire,

 

takes out the Saulier streetlights, all three of them,

and sleeps, dreaming of gunpowder soufflés and repeating company miles

 

and an evening absent a soup course, an apéritif, anything.


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