How to Eat
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.
3/18/2019 08:52:44 pm
This week I saw a waiter on his break laying into a bowl of chicken feet, with red, sauteed, slightly bulging skins that I imagined as gelatinous with a crisp outside. He exuded pleasure. I imagined village, clan life through his secret food. Something not shared on a menu designed for outsiders. I was wondering what my equivalent is. Perhaps hot, freshly made maple syrup, coalescing in icy snow into sweet treacle.
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