Monday, May 28, 2007

A Poem On Food

How can I eat the sesame laddus
Without you? The memory of your
Cracking through their hardness,
Taking them between your teeth and then
Passing them to me as a bird does,
Bit by bit, from your hand to my lips
Diminishes all possibility of my
Breaking my own without your assistance,
Turning the sweetness into a gnashing of teeth.

The khatta meetha is addictive, in its
Little zippered bag, red and cheerful,
With lettering in three languages, wrapping
My tongue around the syllables as it wraps
Around each individual peppered pulse.
The eggplant sits serenely, waiting for its turn
Among the oil and rice and garam masala.

But the gift that continues me back
And back again
Is the chocolate, nicer than any I've ever had --
The one flavor you do not remember from your childhood
But came, instead, from mine;
It is this gift which draws me
One more time to the refrigerator
To break off a single square from the tinfoil paper
And hold the taste of our combination,
Of my memory, made stronger by your attention,
Inside my mouth.

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