Like buying a ticket inland
to barely understandable provinces
with no language at all I bargain and pay
for this warm planet
tipping the scales of wrist and elbow
spreading my fingers with its weight to read
my life-line my heart-line
my seams and mounds of fortune.
into the sun on smoggy evenings
the throat of an old street oven
that seems to expand as I anticipate
its glow engulfing my solar system.
I open my mouth
and China fills it sliding into tartness
forcing my lips
to begin its name
over and over then finger-painting my chin
with the gel of ripeness.
I swallow the pabulum of infancy
the sweet mucilage of age.
It makes me eat like a person alone
who hasn't loved for years.
There seems to be no core
the few black seeds hardly noticed
in its one undifferentiated cell
that makes mine lazy the flavour …
the flavour is ...
my hand moves like an incantation
through an alley of blunt flames
that can be eaten with a spoon.
on a people's staple
fat Buddha squat Amida
repeat three times
persimmon persimmon persimmon
and go to heaven.
from The Tibetan Cabinet (River Road Press, 2010), © Caroline Caddy 2010, used by permission of the author and River Road Press