We drop it into every pot of stew, 
scatter it like a fine mist on a mound 
of rice  as it fries. Its chrism touches
our foreheads and grazes our lips, 
before our mothers run out the church
doors to secure our berths in that cloudy
kingdom beyond this one. When we cry,
its crystals trace a path down our cheeks.
Whoever comes to love us will taste
that flavor on our shoulders, in the sweat
bronzing the hidden clefts, the flame
warming the pulse at each wrist. 
Meat or fish roasted in the fire keeps 
whole beneath a packed, hard crust. 
Break it with your fingers to remember
rivers, to find what's been made tender. 

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