In the farmer’s market every Saturday until early fall, there’s a vendor who brings greens grown in air gardens: baby romaine, streaked and tufted mizuna, curly frisée, bitter arugula. You’re supposed to wreath them on hand-fired raku platters, make a half moon smear out of a little oil or dressing, grant a little crumbled snowfall of cheese and pepitas… Not one vivid green spear has touched the loamy soil, has had to push a tender tip through rude gravel. My father and uncles used to tell stories of how they foraged in the fields as boys during the war: shoots and vines, hard berries, snails and frogs that gathered in shallow pools at night to voice their own brand of discontent with the world. Sometimes, with makeshift slingshots they disappeared into the wood, shading their eyes against filtered light, waiting for coveys of quail: everything ripe candidate for that fractal, bottomless hunger. Bow your head to the heart of the bowl. Raise your cracked glass and drink the gleaming sludge at the bottom. Thank the chain that’s come to spiral down to its end so that you might begin again.


In response to Via Negativa: Modern times.

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