After a school visit to a chicken farm
I stopped eating meat. Couldn’t let slip the sea
of eyes. The smell of caged helplessness.
In those days I converted
to connoisseur of cheese sandwiches,
squares of righteous monotony
that got me through my teens. And then
later, sprouts. Added to everything, and oh
avocadoes, mashed and slathered
onto each new loaf to emerge
from the Tassajara Bread Book.
Amaranth, barley and buckwheat,
names you could chew on.
And when that bible, Moosewood,
burst forth, we concocted
casseroles from zucchini
and eggplant, vine picked or pickled,
for whole congregations of friends.
In the kitchen, love dripped down our chins.
Our fingers sticky with cherry crisp and carrot cake
cradled cups of chicory, steam rising
fogging the windows, and outside the trees
blurred through the panes. We were living
the nostalgia we would one day crave
before one of us turned his back on living
and a field somewhere was forced to remember
the shape of a naked girl beneath a moon
that had never been so cold, before grief
came to peck us with its sharp beak to leave
a map of small bleeds, where our feathers used to be.
about the writer
Originally from Montreal, Babo Kamel now resides in Florida. Her work is published in literary reviews in the US, Australia, and Canada. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson’s Program for Writers, is a Best of Net nominee, and a five-time Pushcart nominee. Her chapbook, After, is published with Finishing Line Press. Find her at: babokamel.com.