My eyes weren’t so good back then, thick plastic lenses in thicker pink frames and bangs, because I see (now) only afternoon sunlight at forty-five degrees translucent, with dust, glowing on the deep green carpet in a dark room where I am alone and consumed with burnt brown cumin smell from bulk burlap bags.
sweet potato in the skillet, New World gold, overlooked Eldorado in the field rows, diced and fried sunshine in my belly
Sliced en masse, undressed beyond recognition, twin mounds of sheep and goats rise beneath my knife. Separated from their souls, olive meat crumbles while pits with clingy bits roll into my hand, slick with benediction oil, to die under a different sky so far away from home.
disappointment is the pasta maker only churning out fettucini when the bolognese needs tagliatelli
Portuguese kale soup in March is hoodies stiff with salt, Atlantic numbed and July burned, morning kites at Campground Beach racing the rising tide, wing-on-wing into Wellfleet Harbor, Hopper’s shadow and light in the beach grass, RacePointWoodEndLongPointHighland, blueberries and bluefish, August crickets’ last summer fiddle for a mate.
Dry little semolina balls defeat me. Your couscous is my biscuit, my Sunday your Friday, but my grandma is mine: accessorized in her weekend best and hovering just beyond flour poof to monitor crisco/flour+water, handing down the ice tea glass to cut rounds in the rolled dough, herding my-best-effort to the lard-slick baking sheet, and in-n-out heat flash. Even better than the split steaming buttered pillows – “Very pretty,” she’d say.
Obvious Ibsen with your one-dimensional misogynist men mincing around your ferocious women, alive and angry at life. Your men need pastrami – thin pink layers, butter-smooth bricks piled high and garnished with burnt-umber cheap mustard, a quivering wall of flesh barely contained by the rye slowing tearing under its weight. Women on stage lick their fingers.
oh, meat! tangy ribs piled in a basket with brisket rimmed in pink from the smoke, solid and creamy (butter in another form?). oh, sides! beans (with sausage!) sopped with toasted Texas toast and coleslaw so fresh the celery seeds stick in my teeth. and hushpuppies, first and last, dipped in honey butter, how could I forget – home is the place you assume you’ll remember until you’re gone so long you’re surprised you forgot.