Seventeen Days Later, the Poet Returns to Peel Some Fruit
Peeling the Clementine: Lunch in the New Millenium
Peeling the clementine to the soothing strains
of the mandolin, or is it a lute, I think
God is in this fragrant peel. He is scenting
my fingertips. Slowly sectioning the fruit, I reflect.
Smooth, cool, slightly variegated, this tiny orange
is a short fat worm filled with vitamin C. A healthy treat.
The lute plays on. Bach in E minor. The baby spits
at the old gray cat, limping on the scarred-wood table.
No soup for you sunken-eyed ancient one.
Silver Elmo spoon to teeth. Plastic Elmo bowl to table.
The baby plays chopsticks opposite a public radio virtuoso.
Noodle-Os wrap around her tongue, soft beige snakes.
Yellow Campbell’s broth runs down her chin.
May it be the only clear liquid to ever do so. Kenehara.
Salt over my left shoulder. Spit. Spit. Spit.
All I want for my girl is a bowl of fine soup,
a silver spoon and the symphony of plastic bowls colliding.
In this world of body counts, Crayola-colored terror levels,
this is the blessing I will wish for on every birthday candle,
every falling star, every twist of an apple stem.