Lesson

       It is my wish to learn 
the proper words to accompany
       the fermentation of grain,
the binding of affluence
       to the foot of each house
post. How sweet the yeast
       that rises at 4 AM, 
that thickens above the wrist
       which plies it into ribbons.
Will I see you then lose you again
       in this lifetime, mother?
In all your pictures, the mole 
       underneath your lip still glows 
like a small, half-buried planet; 
       one tiny hair whitens
on its surface like a flag. 
       Some tasks do not require
a knife or any other implements made 
       of teeth or metal. My fingers 
tug open the winged bean, touch 
       each numbered curl on fern.
All of them tell me what I 
       already know: the cleanest bone
is the one lifted from its body. 

 

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