ONE OF LIFE’S PLEASURES
Confident, sharp blade
of the chef,
his clean, ironed apron—
so admired by women.
The easiness of it all.
His swift slice through the earth
opening the cantaloupe.
Watermelon, quartered and hollowed,
tipped, already sliced into a plastic bag.
No mess, no fuss. No cleanup.
I have mine, too.
Triangles of melon.
Long, slim fingers of liquid sugar, iced.
Coffee-table elegant, triggers.
The Mouth’s first Ah.
I, too, have had teachers.
The campesina is the first.
At the tourist beach, la playa at Mazatlán.
Holding the pineapple with one hand,
machete in the other, two slices, top and bottom.
Followed by a succession of blades
faster than eye can follow.
with the urgency and nonchalance of money.
Delicacy by which she hands the rind
holding still-chewable fruit
to the mother and child, hungry behind her.
The country priest in El Salvador, the other:
We need to find the language, he said,
to convince your wives and daughters
to slip their gold rings from their fingers
by themselves and share them
so we all might have enough.
We want you to help them too.
Fingers taken only by necessity.
25 July 2014
Sharp, confident blade
Sweet, receiving flesh
24 July 2014