‘Cracking the spine, we eat // With fingers mixing and mashing, / ladling for one another, / Karaili, pommecythe, cur-he, / spooning and sliding into our mouths, / Wiping the leaf green.’
WE SET OUR TABLES
We set our tables with
scrubbed fig leaves and napkins,
Bowls of curry chicken, mango takarie,
paratha roti, rice, and dhal.
Cracking the spine, we eat
With fingers mixing and mashing,
ladling for one another,
Karaili, pommecythe, cur-he,
spooning and sliding into our mouths,
Wiping the leaf green.
From spicy, we delve into sweet
dispensing dabbles and segments of
kheer, kulfi, parsaud, gulab jamun, burfi, ladoo,
Folding into little squares
The plates we discard.
After decades in America
We eat with multiple forks, knives, and spoons,
Resisting family gatherings
We set our tables for the solitudes of etiquette