It is useless to try to write a poem about food. Contemplating the meals I have eaten on the marble floor of my grandmother’s house, I remind myself, it is useless to try and write a poem about food. A love that tastes like the first food you’ve eaten, cannot be explained. The simple fact that someone loves you enough to cook your favorite food when you visit, cannot be elaborated on. The bare reality that we need to eat to survive, need food to nourish us since we are born, cannot be altered. A meal is just a meal, after all. But a meal is my grandmother’s hands in the dough, her hands tossing the sabzis, the way she tries harder to make this meal special, the way she nags me to eat more when I’m already full. A meal is the most elemental offering of nourishment. I am not skilled enough to turn a love like this into a poem that makes sense. But, here is the first, incomplete attempt.
It is impossible to write a poem about food.
My grandmother makes a meal of memories
Tastes my mouth has nearly forgotten.
It is impossible to write a poem about-
how your memories from the mouth of your childhood, can be fitted into a plate and touched, tasted, swallowed, and lost inside you
Grain and vegetable turn into something nourishing blood, breath and bone.
The food I am fed
Becoming the way I stretch my arms before sleep, Laughter rising from my throat, heartbeats, the filling and emptying of my lungs.
It is a simple plate of food, and everything tastes familiar.
It is my grandmother loving me in the uncomplicated way I will strive to love too-
You are here. Here is dinner. Eat.