Poor Mojo's Almanac(k) Classics (2000-2011)
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Poetry #33
(published March 29, 2001)
by Melanie Kenny

This city has no cuisine.
How could it with mix and match foods
snatched from around the world,
disappearing from the backs of pantries.
The city is careless with its shopping.

Tins of evaporated milk, kidney beans,
marmelade, salmon.
The menu is capricious:
practical cupboards of generic brands
salted with spendthrift jars of caviar.

Most could care less for the luxury,
but marvel at the fish swimming along the label—
the air full of these slippery creatures
dripping roe like red worlds, small encapsulated stars.

The city only celebrates soup.
What else could be eaten
on its cold, shimmery evenings?
Liquid nourishment reflects nature:
water and air, broth and steam.
In their kitchens, one after another
the citizens sip from elephant-bellied ladles
an elaborate gastronomic choreography.

from The Floating City

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