To see a child eat—is pleasure. Visceral goodness.
Eating with their fingers. Smacking their lips.
Food encircling their mouth in delight.
I am not an authority on etiquette or grace,
But I no longer eat like a child.
My food is consumed more quietly,
With functional refinement, barely touching my lips.
Rarely is a meal experienced in such a sensual, lip-smacking way.
I recently noticed, however, that I was eating loudly—
Eating loudly, perhaps, because I was eating quickly,
Shoveling. I became aware—
Like I’d been transported to a darkened, lonely stage,
And the spotlight…landing…on…me.
I was slightly embarrassed,
Like a sleepwalker being awoken
And not knowing how she got there.
From behind the red velvet curtain, an old soul reminded me—
Do not confuse etiquette with grace. Be mindful.
My spotlight expanded.
In front of me—a bowl of tangerines.
And I began my innocent monologue:
Taking hold of the tangerine,
You are taking a trip
Of a mobius strip).
Peeling the tangerine,
You unleash a fragrant mist
(Scent of earthly lovers
In a springtime tryst).
Come together earth and rain,
Take hold of bundled seed,
Burst forth in fragile blossom,
And in the fruit is freed.
Each segment a ray,
Bringing light to my soul,
A season of suns,
Making me whole.
Celestial star songs
Dripping down my chin.