Cooking as an Adoptee

If they called you bougie

Like a pepper with no knee slap


If everything we touch, touches us

And the chopsticks were like two shoelaces in your fingers


If the way we have forgotten what a carrot should taste like

Is like the way you have forgotten your ancestors


If on a city bus, the sour of the marketplace

squatted in the back aisle for five stops

through the high rises rising, through the pressed dressed shirts leaving

and you wished you could love like that


If the blade slipped

and out came evidence that the heart

is in constant gift-giving


if you questioned its workings when it was cast out

like kimchi from a white boy’s cafeteria


If you learned in school to clean dirt from under your nails

as if it wasn’t dirt

that made all grow


If the garden you planted isn’t technically legal


If mother is origin

And you are a point in motion and every direction is forward


Remember the Fall

Harvest’s lesson:

in every tree a handful of persimmons left for the birds

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