Grenadilla

Perhaps because I know how salt
is paired with flame and flame’s a welt

that licks the skin with thorn and bone,
I’ve always loved what knows to fold

the piquant tendril in the sweet—
ginger with anise, torn basil with lemon,

the iron bite of bitter gourds lingering
long after summer berries have left

their juice and stain on fingers, lips.
Reptile-skinned melons blush orange

like daylilies at their core, and the moon’s
poor copper in exchange. Once, I spooned

a tincture of jasmine flowers and my mouth
transformed into an old cathedral

against whose rose-veined marble walls
sheets of candle smoke lifted, swirled.

Once, I slipped thin slices of the carambola
on my love’s tongue, so he could understand

how some stars burn greener in their
passing. Shake the purple rind of the grenadilla,

the yellow globe of the maracuyá— the audible pulse,
the ticking seeds: exquisite sweet, waiting to explode.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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8 Comments


  1. ‘ Once, I spooned

    a tincture of jasmine flowers and my mouth
    transformed into an old cathedral

    against whose rose-veined marble walls
    sheets of candle smoke lifted, swirled’

    All sumptuous, these lines especially.

    Reply

  2. Rich all the way through… The one Lucy mentions is the most surprising, but I also think the reptile-skinned fruit containing tiger lily blush is a neat twist. And the whole evokes that lovely feeling of unpackaged abundance one gets walking around in a tropical market.

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  3. I absolutely adore this. It is partly the tropical fruits, things I have only seen in pictures or merely read about in old recipe books. But I can taste and smell them. How wonderful!

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  4. I’ve seen carambolas (star fruit) at local grocery stores recently — and a few other fruits I do wish I could bite into on a more regular basis, except they put such a high price tag on them! But yes, Marly, nothing like an open market…

    Reply

  5. I love the way you write about food. You should consider writing a whole collection of food and cooking poems!

    Reply

    1. I *have* thought about that, Dave… and I may teach a short workshop in mid- or late fall on food and poetry. Grin.

      Reply

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