Sunday, July 08, 2007
I remember watching you cook--
you did cook once in awhile,
and it was good, once in awhile--
how it would always fry me when
you’d slice the veg on dinner plates
with knives I made a point of keeping
sharp enough to shave a peach.
I kept my silence at the time
because, after all, you had
a knife in your hand, dulled perhaps,
but good enough for government work.
My Japanese water stones
went paper thin for love of you,
and in truth I came to admire your skill.
You’d lay waste a whole family
of blades with a single stir-fry,
Sabatiers, Solingens, Henckels,
wreck any and all with flair,
then sit with an accomplished air,
fork up what your wok had wrought.
I miss those days of quiet rage,
the coiled suburban rancor, kisses
laced with bitters, salty with spite.
Most of all I miss the taste
of dishes not conceived of by
the weirdest Angelino chef,
the unidentifiable greens,
the ineffable mystery of it all.
Why I should be thinking of these
things now I can’t say.
I must not be getting enough
charcoal nowadays, or maybe
I’ve just lost my edge and miss
the whetters nested in your drawers.