Thursday, May 26, 2011

Yet Another Poem about the Fall of 2005

September 14, 2005
Cooked dinner last night for the first time in ages

A tray of red tomatoes
yellow and orange bell peppers
and purple onions
all run under the broiler for twenty minutes
until they were charred nice and black in places
all mashed up in a mixing bowl with a potato masher
and a lot of cilantro
and served with black beans and rice

When I get home from work
I’m tired
and I imagine that cooking’s the last thing I want to do
But I am wrong
There isn’t much that makes you narrow down
the way wielding a sharp knife over your own fingers does
It’s not the danger that gets me
it’s the focus
When I’m kneeling on the floor with the broiler tray pulled out
and the heat rising into my face
turning over slippery vegetables with clumsy tongs
I am not thinking about anything but broiler, heat, vegetables, tongs
I am doing what I am doing
and seeing what I am seeing
Which is vegetables
Which are beautiful
And which smell really good when they get that hot
Chopping up hot slippery peppers and onions on the cutting board
even with the good knife
is hard
and approaches meditative exactly because it’s hard
I choose each bowl and board and knife and pot carefully
Not only weighing its utility and heft in the hand
but enjoying in a sensual way ceramics, wood, metal, glass
The second-largest pale-blue egg-shaped mixing bowl
the small sauce pan
the large cutting board
the little orange plastic bowl for the chopped cilantro
These things will glow for me with inner vitality
if I let them
They have
if not exactly personalities
at least unique natures
Their shapes and textures please me most
as if they fit into special kitchenware receptors in my brain
And then there’s the smelling
the frying garlic up in oil
the tasting, the reading, the measuring, the plating
and the sitting down at the table
with a dish of hot food and a glass of red wine and eating
and being complimented by your nice husband on the food

image source is here

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