“My poems eat daal and rice with their hands” ~ Rajiv Mohabir
Once, longing for a cool
bite of singkamas overlaid
with a film of chili salt, she said
turnip instead of jicama. The mouth
is hungry and always unsatisfied:
it doesn’t understand the steamed
milk smell of rice cakes here,
the oil-rich spread of party food
on Tuesday nights. Who still drops
a spoonful of bile into a tender broth,
scatters raisins in the stew like a trail
for wild rock pigeons? For hours, the skin
around the mouth can itch from memory
of fuzz encircling a simmer of swamp-green
stems— That kind of love sticks the longest.
That kind gives everything it has: singed hair
and crackling skin, boiled hooves and innards.
Quartered heart doused in vinegar and flame.