Issue: Wisdom (May 2015)
My curried soup looks like a galaxy. In truth, it is not so much curried soup so much as it is water to which I have added curry and, in an afterthought, a single, small, red Idaho potato. This is my attempt to learn how to cook, sitting in a kitchen that is not my own after a winter that was not so much cold as it was hard. If I remember right, the potato is done when you can stab through to the center. The fork, I think, is supposed to cut right through.
I remember the last stew my father made me. It was on a January visit between semesters, a ripe time for soups and stews. Standing in the kitchen, surrounded by paints, my father tells me the one thing I need to know to make a good soup, ladling me out a bowl before adding the meats to the veggies. “This is all you’ll ever need to know,” he says, handing me the bowl. “This is it.”
When I consider slate,
and murmur in maroon
or let the cold taupe steel
my thoughts for an hour,
I do not stumble.
No every-day beige paint
or chartreuse mustard sickness
entangles my intestines.
I won’t let olive
drab overcome me.
It’s true that midnight blue
is terrifying. And gray humidity
can rust away at fire’s
bold and burning amber.
Even forest green fades
to brown in winter.
But I wish to live in magenta.
While honeydew still sweetens
my tongue, I’ll run on seafoam
steam. I’ll try to laugh with almond
calm, and gently unfold each moment
as a sweetly peeling peach skin.
And when silver does come,
I hope to return to sand,
just an empty seashell
in the indigo depth of the sea.
With every spring time that we throw away,
it seems our tangled roots do grow away
from one another. You blossom and your seeds
are spread like wishes, but please don’t blow away
to distant lands and grander plants than me,
a simple dandelion, wanting to know a way
to fertilize our garden, make it stronger.
For my roots in you feel frail and go away
with every passing winter. I want to be your
budding Rose, but wilt, like melting snow, away.