Quicken

The days grow short again, and we turn 
from winter stores of broth and marrow.
I have a craving for pickled green 
papaya and mango, moringa leaves,
mung bean. In the neighborhood, 
someone has lit a fire in their yard: here 
is the smell of things turning into ash, 
mingled with the yeasty trace of uncollected
garbage. The wind peels back strips of old 
paint from the gutter's edge. Under the faded 
deck, paw prints in softened soil—animals 
that must have eased under the fence, 
hunting their own small hungers.

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