You & I Belong in This Kitchen

Juan Felipe Herrera

 
longtime hermano Bob          tells me
one of the monks in brown directs us to the deep sink
made of two sinks the hose & the silver table where all
the spoons & metal tongs are clean
wait at the entrance for directions the monk gave me
but he is in there & points me to another sink
made of two sinks & a silver table where all
the spoons & metal tongs are clean
scrub off the rice burned at the bottom
there it is clinging to the sides of the steel
outside working the hole in the earth
three monks in brown stir the blackish pots boiling
four mouths of mud cakes for the new lunar year
the dragon the people the monastery the mountains
one monk stands staring into the nothing
no thoughts around him
the other monk descends through the scaly fog two
children angle an exploded tree limb back & forth
so the sparks play with them      to the left
the meditation hall is curved & faces Escondido
down below where my father drove his army truck
& pulled our trailer to a stop on Lincoln Road in 54
I watered spidered corn & noticed the deportations
little friends gone the land left to ice alone
lunch is served we go to the line the spoons
and the speckled tongs await by the brown rice
white rice eggplant kim chee & a grey shade pot
pour the seaweed soup we go with our tray & sit
the mud cakes are ribboned in red & gold & green
there is a way to do this
it requires listening & seeing &
silence           silence the bell rings
longtime hermano Bob & I      at the parking lot
we leave brown cloth                           brown cloth
naked spoons      naked pots
steam         rises from the sink &      the view
the view with no one           in front or     in back
 
Copyright 2012 by Juan Felipe Herrera. Used with permission of the author.

Poems by This Author

Dolphinating by Juan Felipe Herrera
Are you going to steal lines collect
Everyday We Get More Illegal by Juan Felipe Herrera
Five Directions to My House by Juan Felipe Herrera
tomorrow I leave to El Paso, Texas by Juan Felipe Herrera
see my brother-in-law with a styled shirt


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