sometimes i want to step out of my skin

& sleep forever in that silver pot

as if i were those bones you boil each day

hovering over the kitchen stove

cheeks flushed with early morning

at least then i’ll smell like home

instead of an imitation

garnished with green onions & basil

sans tendon

sans tripe

sans heart

a health-conscious broth sitting pretty

on the plastic tabletops of all the

little saigons and lotus cafes  

despite being a refugee’s daughter

i know nothing of hunger   

except when i am the mouth

into which you feed your art

to feed, of course, is to give

what cannot be kept

you tell me to open

the same way you say that no man

will marry me if i can’t cook &

suddenly i become an empty bowl

waiting to be filled again  

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