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Posts Tagged ‘food’

 

I mean, are you kidding me?!

 

 

They’re just grapes, sure, but

more like what every kiss wants to be—

surprising and unpredictable.

Intensely sweet, spicy, too,

and tough, unwilling to be summed up,

making me pucker at the same time

I long for more, something

I happened to find in the store,

but the taste, the round essence, is wild,

unable to be tamed.

It’s enough to make a woman wonder

how she’s never tried this before,

as if the world’s been holding out on her—

and if this new thrill is possible, well, then

what else might be out there for a woman to find?

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It’s just a piece of toast.

Bread. Heat. Butter.

Last season’s apricot jam.

It’s just breakfast. Just

simple carbs and a little fat

so that their brains can

function better, bodies

can move without hunger.

It’s just a few bites

that disappear in moments.

No one looks at the meal tenderly.

No one thinks, oh, my mom

must really love me—

look at the way she spread the butter

so evenly to cover all the bread.

No one thinks, she knows

just how light, just how dark

I like my toast. No, they just eat it

and rush toward the door.

Some part of me is grateful

they take it so for granted,

believing love is as easy

as pushing down a toaster lever,

as simple as saying thanks.

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Ode to the Patty Pan

 

 

 

I can imagine not everyone would look

at this plate of grilled pattypan squash

and start to salivate. I was one of them once,

 

those who think they dislike zucchini, crook necks,

patty pans. I, too, shunned the spongy flesh,

the seeded core. I was a scorner of squash.

 

I don’t exactly remember when it changed,

when I stopped wishing it off my plate,

began to grow it myself. Began to crave it—

 

and not just grated into sweet bread.

Not just sliced and forgotten in a rich tomato sauce.

No, I came to delight in the very squash-ness of it—

 

the way it embodies the abundance of summer.

The way it takes on other flavors but never

abandons its own. And here, tonight,

 

stacked on my plate like small green suns,

blistered and sweating from the grill,

the pattypan squash are luscious, delightful,

 

so utterly themselves. How hard it used to be

to appreciate them. I remember. How easily

it comes now, this thrill in what summer provides.

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The white sauce whisked to smoothness

before the cheese is added,

and the elbow noodles boiled till they’re al dente,

 

the Pyrex buttered with long looping swirls of the fingers,

the cheddar spread evenly on top.

It is not easy for most people to see

 

devotion in the mac and cheese.

It doesn’t look like prayer.

But it’s there.

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The cupboards, she discovers,

have little to offer, but she

finds in a corner some purple potatoes,

 

and, on slicing them thin, finds

white and purple patterns

swirled like stained glass.

 

She approves. Pours oil

in the skillet. Nods at the splatter

when the potatoes slide in.

 

A cauliflower in the back

of the fridge. Yes. She breaks

off florets and adds them.

 

Some tofu. She crumbles it,

scrambles it, lets the foods meld.

Then lemon. Then rosemary.

 

Then chile. Then wait. She stirs.

She tastes. There are times

when out of what seems to be nothing,

 

we find magnificence. Enough

to share. Enough to make us think

abundance is hiding everywhere.

 

 

 

 

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One Delectable

 

for Jack & Julie

 

 

ripe tomato soup—

even the bowl

licks its lips

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Paradox for Supper

 

 

 

Tonight,

slicing ginger,

I think about

not thinking

about the news,

how I would then

sit down

at dinner

and look

around the table

at my family

and enjoy

this peanut sauce

on brown rice,

 

and for a while

I am two women

in one skin—

one who stews

about the supreme court,

one who thrills

in the hot pepper oil,

the way it blazes

on the tongue.

 

 

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I Never Knew

I ate my string beans cooked too long
in cream of mushroom soup
and I ate soggy tater tots
and neon green fruit loops.
I ate cranberry relish
served in the shape of a can,
but please, mama, pretty please, I’d say
don’t make me eat the Spam.

I’d eat dip made from cheese food
on chips from Frito Lay,
I’d eat red Jello salad
with layers of mayonnaise,
I’d eat the bits of Jiffy Pop
burned on the disposable pan,
but please, mama, pretty please, I’d say
don’t make me eat the Spam.

One day when I had left the home
I teased my mom about
the way she served us processed food
when we were growing up,
like cans of Spam and beans and peas
from dusty shelves at the store,
Oh honey, she said, I wanted fresh food.
It was all we could afford.

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