After a truly gorgeous weekend spent catching up with old friends from undergrad and waking up to an epic April rainstorm, I suppose it's safe to say that spring weather has finally been achieved! HOORAY, and double hooray for today not being an office day so I can attempt to do my work reading holed up in the house.
Since it's poetry month and I've barely posted anything, here's a couple of poems by Aimee Nezhukumatathil! I'm in a bit of a foodporn mood, in case you couldn't tell... *g*
THE WOMAN WHO TURNED DOWN A DATE WITH A CHERRY FARMER
Of course I regret it. I mean there I was under umbrellas of fruit
so red they had to be borne of Summer, and no other season.
Flip-flops and fishhooks. Ice cubes made of lemonade and sprigs
of mint to slip in blue glasses of tea. I was dusty, my ponytail
all askew and the tips of my fingers ran, of course, red
from the fruitwounds of cherries I plunked into my bucket
and still — he must have seen some small bit of loveliness
in walking his orchard with me. He pointed out which trees
were sweetest, which ones bore double seeds — puffing out
the flesh and oh the surprise on your tongue with two tiny stones
(a twin spit), making a small gun of your mouth. Did I mention
my favorite color is red? His jeans were worn and twisty
around the tops of his boot; his hands thick but careful,
nimble enough to pull fruit from his trees without tearing
the thin skin; the cherry dust and fingerprints on his eyeglasses.
I just know when he stuffed his hands in his pockets, said
Okay. Couldn't hurt to try? and shuffled back to his roadside stand
to arrange his jelly jars and stacks of buckets, I had made
a terrible mistake. I just know my summer would've been
full of pies, tartlets, turnovers — so much jubilee.
CHEESE CURDS, THE FIRST TIME
Dairy aisle, and I'm confused. No one explains
why here in southern Wisconsin, all I can find
in the chilled silver bins at my local grocery
are blocks of orange 'cheese food,' wheels of it,
even sliced, individually wrapped if I desire.
Of course it's food, but the fact they
have to qualify it makes me suspicious.
And rightly so, says my neighbor, leaning
a meaty elbow out her window. In between
bites of potato salad she says, You's gotta go
to the Farmer's Market and getchu some
cheeeese curds. The way yellow oozes
out of the corners of her mouth when she says
this makes it hard to even sip my cola later
as I wander the maze of fresh produce and people
in wide-brimmed hats. A swarm descends on a booth
selling said curds, each person wanting the freshest bag-full:
white chunks, bite-sized, more solid than I imagined,
just a bit salty and sweet. Even a baby's
pink, fat hand (hoisted high above us) clamors
for a waxy bag of her very own. How I love
the grab and pull for something you can't name, only
knowing you want more. The thinness in your voice
as you try to describe all the breads and heaps
of fresh beans just waiting to be snapped.
I have not yet mentioned the squeak in your teeth.