Take stock; the beginning of one meal
“People are as strange about eating as they are about love. They want what they want.” --Frank Bruni
from the remains of the last,
brewing bones and skimming chaff.
People have fallen out of love with food,
no seeded mysticism or churn blisters;
the sum of a body cellophaned and portioned.
Or maybe not. Maybe it’s love overlooked--
custard-soft eggs, bitten buttered toast--
or love too rich and freely given,
seconds of coconut curry, jungle-green,
choked with curving eggplants
and bamboo, pliant and plentiful.
When the one that got away
came back, he cupped my dark-pooled face,
clucked his tongue. “Eat something.”
My mother did the same when he disappeared
for good, handed me the oldest remedy--
rice plumped and redolent of chicken,
golden gelatin, collagen, fat and blood;
the things that hold a body together.
One day, that’ll be me,
ladling simmering stock into long grains,
when really what I mean is,
I’m sorry baby, I know it hurts.
Some things take time, starch and stock
marrying every kernel--ginger, garlic
and shallots wafting from the bowl.