Friday, April 29, 2016

I remember

I ate picnics of peanuts and raisins, boiled eggs and cucumber sticks
Mommy in her sleeveless dress, the thick army blanket, the mango tree

I ate tuna fish from cans, spread on the bread that Tata Ignace baked
In the kitchen, with its glass door pane renewed but my wrist marked for life

I ate chocolate triangled and speckled white, the white marbling swirls
Cold and melted and cold again. I ate it hiding under the stairs

I ate pineapple upside down cake piece by piece straight from the freezer
The freezer bloody with beef cuts. I'd seen half the cow. Watched it cut up.

I ate grapes on Long Island in the Bible translator's hot back yard
My first grapes. That yard, that day, they still come fresh to me when I taste that.

I ate rice and peas and creamed tuna on my birthday year after year.
Someday I will eat it again. I can't wait. But my mother is dead.

I ate sugar cubes from the cupboard, its legs in tin cans of water
So the ants couldn't climb. Sugar cube after sugar cube. From the box.

I ate the grapefruit with the grapefruit spoon, drank the juice from a squeezed arc
Rows of grapefruit in the dark pantry. I drew faces while they rotted.

I ate peanut butter cookies, with their bumpy brown topography
Endless craggy mountain ranges, flattened for me by my mother's fork.

I ate the late-night subs, the smoky pizzas, the spaghetti you cooked
Exotic raw egg yolk, your mother's handwritten words not yet foodstained.

I ate the only vegetarian thing on the menu's back page
In so many restaurants. Ordering five drinks to make up for it.

I ate rice cakes and cottage cheese when Weight Watchers prohibited grapes
I dove into enormous green salads and forty-eight-ounce smoothies.

I ate oatmeal for breakfast, enlivened with salt, bananas, berries

I ate it alone, in the dark of the morning, my ritual feast.

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