In my kitchen There is a knife My dad gave it to me When I left home It's made of strong steel With a sharp blade I take better care of it Than I do of myself In my kitchen There is a sharpening block My mom gave it to me When I left home When I sharpen my knife It can cut clean Through an overripe tomato Without puckering the skin Bowls and spoons and mugs I toss in the dishwasher The knife I clean by hand Scrubbed and dried until gleaming Didn't my mom give me this nose? Didn't my dad give me these eyes? Can't this body do much grander things Than slicing up a late summer tomato? In my kitchen There are three jars of cilantro Growing tall and green Beneath the window I bought them from the store A week and a half ago They see more sunlight than I do More water, too I used to tell people That I could never own a dog Not for lack of loving For fear that I wouldn't give it a good life In my bedroom Here I am Laying in sweat-soiled sheets Rusting and rotting and hungry I think If I had a dog I would give it a king's life. MiC Columnist Mei Lanting can be reached at email@example.com.