Field Notes on a Chinese Meal
The dimension is at fault. A ceramic pot
tilts towards horizon, angles for a shot at
acceptance, the quiet rush of tea into glass.
The Ming lacquer table is a dumb beast in
the corner of the living room – a museum
of buried desires. No one says anything –
Mom says: have you eaten enough, slept
enough? Don’t cry. Here, have some fish.
You’re Chinese. You can’t be vegetarian.
The politics of enough keeps the peace. Tea
rushes into glass, chopsticks skip across air
to select their next victim. The slaughtered.
Lamb. The innocent grains nestled against
gristle and bone. The face of your mother
wavering in the soup bowl. Three spoons.
Shatter her frown. Keep your head down.
Kiss your tea. Say thanks, I’ve had enough.