A POEM A DAY

I'm just happy to be here.

Tag: food

18/30: A WATCHMAN

Strawberries, blueberries, apples,
lemon juice and orange juice,
sugar and slow heat
collide.
I witness
the alchemy of time,
what happens to
sweetness in the fire.
A watchman
over the flames.
Bearing fruit
until it reduces
into itself.
When I say I create,
I want you to hear
homemade. I want you to think
of my hands like a door,
open and ready
to work.

19/30: BUTTER SIDE TO HEAVEN

Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us,
for the amount of garlic and butter we spread
across this loaf. This loaf is God’s to unload.
Heaven is a place so take this bread like a ticket.
Give us this bread, and lay it inside the oven,
Butter side to heaven. Butter side to sky.
Butter side to stars. Butter side to moon.
Butter side to sun. Butter side to ancestors.
I stand atop the mountain of bread and lead
this prayer alongside those who remember
why we are here: is it not to rise? is it not
to become? is it not our purpose to melt
the meaning of a moment into memory?
At the altar of the dinner table, I break bread
with my beloved. We pull apart what the
heavens held like the humans we are.
We open our mouths like saints
and taste a miracle.

9/30: THE PISTACHIO SPEAKS

The shell is a fortress
(badly designed)
to protect its green king

Any shell will tell you:
it’s what’s inside that counts.

I’m counting the cracked shells
all the green hearts
living outside the bodies
they were given.

I hold myself like a soft secret
Like the portrait of a seed
that never saw the soil.

Inside, I am covered, concealed, hidden.

If any hands opened me,
if I had the choice,
If I had a voice
I’d probably run
myself into the ground
back to my roots
back to the tree
that knows my name

The man holding me now,
I see how softly he pulls me from myself

Does he know I was cultivated
for this moment?

Does he know
there is a part of me
nobody ever sees?

23/30: PART ONE

At first,
You don’t cook out of love.

You cook out of necessity.
If the body is a temple,
The gospel is grocery shopping.
You cook what you can
depending on what you have
but mostly you cook
for hunger
because you are hungry
because none of your brothers are home
you are six and alone
the apartment is dark
like the false concept of manhood
Your mom is working late
Your mom has a date
with a man
and your brothers fight
like men
but you are six with nothing in your stomach.

The expression
“Close mouths don’t get fed”
assumes food is on the table
Ready to eat
You want to cook, to take
something fresh and
turn it anew with purpose.
Or maybe it’s more simple.
The free lunch at school was too predictable
but at least it’s breakfast, at least it’s lunch.

You cook
because your hands have the tendency
to create, the repeated history of
obnoxious disobedience runs
through your bones but
have you ever trusted
a cast-iron skillet
with all your might,
ever felt the quiet organization
of what you want turn soft like
onions sautéed in slow sugar
like the moon moments before total darkness
ever felt the pang of craving
turn you into a creature caught
in the ritual of rising steam,
ever put a plate
in front of a room full of people
feel the silence boil over brilliant
ever see the meal disappear
along with the legacy of growling,
which chooses
to crawl through bodies without apology
as if the mouth is no place for forgiveness.