tagNon-Erotic PoetryHot-and-Sour Fish Hot Pot

Hot-and-Sour Fish Hot Pot

byKaishaku©

 

To taste the steam
clouds on tablecloth
the sweet, the sour -- sugar, spice
in white bowls and saucers
chopsticks, and ladles.

If it was now, if it was you
would you go, would you fight?
"No way," they agree
"It would be brother fighting brother.
Wars don't solve anything."

Catfish, okra and jalapeno
a nutty fried garlic, sweet pineapple
and they can taste the past
something they don't remember
something they never had.

In Vietnam it was bong lau
instead of catfish, bacha not celery
yet memories of Saigon
drift in the steam, tasted
in words of their parents.

The rice falls from a spoon
sinks to the bottom, mixing
Hot-and-Sour Fish Hot Pot
they taste it in the steam
a place they never knew.





Note: the words in quotes were spoken by Vietnamese-American College students in an article titled "The Things We Still Carry" by Robb Walsh.

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