Why anything tastes like nothing

“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.

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