Crispin Rodrigues

Advice from the old country (III)

Never marry a girl who can’t make soup.
Her eyes are oceans so flavoured, hot water
must come naturally to her. Unless she is not
oceanic, she is a desert. Check her hands
for bits of chaff. She has rolled them with
pockmarked fingers. If they are smooth
she has not seen the soil, she is a desert.
What is an ocean but a desert overflowing?
What is food but carcasses dotted
with fallen leaves and berries? And hot water.
Water that sears the pink flesh leaves
the frog to stew in its own forgetfulness?
It never rains when you want it to.
Never an ocean when you want it to be.
The kitchen is a display. The oven
is always cold. The fridge is empty half the time.
How soup swirls in empty ocean. How the ocean
swirls in soupless soup. How empty
soup swirls in. How empty, how empty.


Crispin Rodrigues is a poet and an educator. He has written two collections of poems and is working on his third.