At night when I can’t sleep

sometimes I worry 
that I haven't written down 
a single recipe for my daughters 
to remember me by. Maybe I'm 
partially to blame,  because 
I'm the type who likes to cook 
from memory or from the moment's 
necessity—tweaking the measure 
of vinegar to soy, garlic and bay 
leaf to peppercorn, fish
sauce to coconut milk. 

In his youth, during the war, 
my father said they'd walk
the paddies after dark, looking 
for snails and frogs; for what
called or moved or startled 
against their feet in shallow 
water. One body for another, 
to boil for sustenance and pick 
clean until the smallest bone,
until the shells are nothing
but dark coils of moonlight.
Echo of what once was saved,
currencies no one would
even think to steal.


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