Poised on chopsticks, the mortared rice
slick with oil and crumbled egg bits,
would never be enough to amend the hunger
of the day’s long hours.
lift the humble bowl with
flecks of bright green scallions and
miniature cubes of salty sausage
(cut perfectly to distract from that which is missing)
to your lower lip and open wide,
pushing with chopsticks
the avalanche of finely chopped
spare parts of yesterday’s meals
so that forgetting is done in shifts.
How to Eat Soft Tofu
Glistening purity quivers.
scooped from a wooden box
and placed carefully in a blue ceramic bowl
Of concentric ink blooms.
A Soft body,
curdled in its own milk.
Holding the ladle spoon gently,
dipping into near whiteness (near yellowness),
it slides down one's throat
A dream not quite remembered
but still breathing in one's silent mouth.
Grip the broken end, the splintered bone
and nibble gently into spice-softened reptilian skin,
tearing into sinew and cartilage.
Masticate the morsels of childhood flavors
of satisfaction and shame
lingering on the round edges of your tongue.
The blurred memories of tropical heat
sharpen with this salty, sweet, chewy claw.
Spit out the bones like baby teeth
from a mouth that no longer speaks
the Mother Tongue.
Eat this alone in the kitchen at night-
not one, but the whole pack.
Then scrape the pile of broken fingers into the trash
hiding all evidence
of this delicacy.