Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rainy Days & Mad Greeks

and lovely Italians.

Woke up early to get ready all that oregano of a day and plans changed, so I thought (as L wrote to charge that I have not been keep her updated) I would write a little, post some poems in honor of such grayness. (It's that one sky--you know the one--dirty-sheet in color and not at all inviting.)

Made soup last night and the cumin-smell is still hanging around in the kitchen.
The cumin smell reminds me of Salt Lake and long lunches at the Indian buffet. And the cold--that weekend in the cabin,the pride I felt in serving soup in bread bowls. Funny.

Loving the new protein mix, today's special smoothie was lemon creme. A little dash of lemon extract and lots of pure vanilla, some flax oil. And my favorite coffee. The day begins all lemon creme and chocolate velvet and low on the promised-oregano, so I'll clean my apartment, run some dishes and laundry and at long last, drop off the recycling.

For now, an offering:

Why I Can't Cook for Your Self-Centered Architect Cousin

Because to me a dinner table's like a bed--
without love, it's all appetite and stains. Let's buy
take-out for your cousin, or order pizza--his toppings--

but I can't lift a spatula to serve him what I am.
Instead, invite our favorite misfits over: I'll feed
shaggy Otis, who after filet mignon, raised his plate

and sipped merlot sauce with such pleasure
my ego pardoned his manners. Or I'll call Mimi,
the chubby librarian, who paused over tiramisu--

"I haven't felt so satisfied since..." then cried
into its curls of chocolate. Or Randolph might stop by,
who once, celebrating his break-up with the vegetarian,

so packed the purse seine of his wiry body with shrimp
he unbuttoned his jeans and spent the evening
couched, "waiting for the swelling to go down."

Or maybe I'll cook for us. I'll crush the pine nuts
unhinged from the cones prickly shingles.
I'll whittle the parmesan, and if I grate a knuckle

it's just more of me in my cooking. I'll disrobe
garlic cloves of rosy sheaths, thresh the basil
till moist and liberate the oil. Then I'll dance

that green joy through the fettucine, a tumbling,
leggy dishy we'll imitate, after dessert.
If my embrace detects the five pounds you win

each year, you will merely seem a generous
portion. And if you bring my hand to your lips
and smell the garlic that lingers, that scents

the sweat you lick from the hollows of my clavicles,
you're tasting the reason that I can't cook
for your cousin--my saucy, my strongly seasoned love.

--Beth Ann Fennelly

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