Small talk at a small table
Black hair, silver earrings,
Cream swirls in her Darjeeling.
Steam rises from my Earl Grey.
I take a sip. I want to impress.
“What do Zoroastrians think of Nietzsche?”
She spoons extra sugar, filling her cup to the brim.
“What do you mean?”
Lipstick colors our cups. I wait for mine to cool.
“Nietzsche claimed the founder of your faith
regretted inventing the concepts of good and evil.”
She leans back in her chair.
I see her mother’s necklace.
Strangers ask, is that a bird? No, it’s a Zoroastrian angel.
Sitting atop the gentle folds of her purple scarf,
the bearded metal face in profile, the tips of his wings shine.
Each wing has three feathers.
Each feather has a meaning.
She is about to speak. I am on the edge, I want every word.
A young woman appears. Wearing a t-shirt, an apron,
and a lionhead goldfish tattoo, she brings warm bread.
We share the bread and I tell my friend that
Nietzsche was quite rude.
“The Parsee are too insignificant to worry about what some dead German wrote.”