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Posts Tagged ‘poem 2’

The History of Cumin

 

I’m seductive, sublime, redolent of pepper and hot desert wind, but common, like salt. I fill the room, a hot, dense fog. No one ignores me. Not everyone loves me, I get that, I’m an acquired taste, like dry wine that tastes of berries and loam. I’m a smokier sort, the kind of woman who enters a room dangling a cigarette from her fingers, eyes blackened with kohl, her voice a thick Turkish coffee. You imagine the Silk Road, dusty paths with caravans of camels. Actually, I traveled with the Spanish, fertile and amorous, spreading my love to all, taking root in rocks and soot. I’m polymorphous; I’ve gone as far as China. But you’ll find me, in the mole, masala, mutaki. I sneak up on you. I’m sly and overpowering. I’m the overtones of the marketplace, the residue of the hearth, the charred remains of game .

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I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone.

                                                                                                                        Frida Kahlo

 In my self-portrait, I want to be truly alone,

 me with me, holding hands with myself,

both my hearts exposed. I want to show

the self who loves and is the loved, and the self

who wants to cut out hearts with a pair

of scissors. The one who wears casual blue,

an old, brown skirt, she doesn’t care;

the other  who wears a wedding dress, with a too

tight collar, strangled. I don’t want that. I

want what I want:  the self, exposed, the shimmer

of two gray storm clouds, my hand holding my

very own hand. I want the blank canvas and the mirror.

I want to show everyone the me I thought I saw,

the self-portrait as judgment: scathing and raw.

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