learning to read against the recipe
the “turn out well” the “slow oven”
the many uses of vinegar
how to manipulate the stomach
of men and mothers-in-law
the practice of food can calm the mind
and grandmother smoothes her apron
with link-sausage fingers
and her lips set, setting the furrows
around her mouth deeper as she looks out
or just at the wall with its cloth calendar
and you, a poppet, with undershirt
and coded underwear simply stand
hands floured, and another code
stands before your eyes but the lesson
won’t be clear for years

James Engelhardt

James Engelhardt (jg.engelhardt at eats death, which is especially nice with his homemade hot chili sauce.