Home Economics

Where I grew up I was taught save
everything for soup or sauce: fins, bones,
the heads of shrimp for their orange fat—
dripping sweetbreads of the slaughtered
animal to bulk up a meal, spread like a blanket
over many days with sizzling onions and
wild lime juice. There are whole towns who've
perfected the art of chiseling lace
out of watermelon rinds, roasting rice
wafers to string with thread and float
from windows on feast days— feast being less about
tables groaning with the weight of food
and more about yoking endless hunger to
the ceremonies of using every part: every inch
of skin, every sinew; each chalky eyeball swimming
in its papery bowl, as sweet as everything else
milked from another body in the world for you.

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