In the nearest-by of foreign countries
a reporter knows how we sweat attention
when we hear the language of ingredients,
the spell of culinary vernacular—
edible bulbs, meaty pepper rinds, and queso.
Milled grains, avocados, and oil.
Eating as border crossings
from famine to feast and back. We listen
and are brought closer to others.
We start to chew on water,
almost tooth-grind at phantom spoonfuls
of a manna, a gathered narrative, a swirled savor.
My neck is an over-watered stem
reaching for sunlight, held on
to a cherry tomato, so oranged sweet
its skin must split open to the air.
A letting comes on so naturally.
We find new bumps on my head.
Your fingers feel them. It’s a pressure
beneath my hair that, just now, bursts.
Bird Rock Avenue
There’s the shore, actual rocks,
each with its very own bird.
A resident, beyond an altar for hot coals,
sun-salutations atop a bench until anyone
who might gaze arrives. Utility
repair men line their trucks on the curbs,
tear the brush, and install signal.
I yell the last song I know to seagulls, take
a photograph with a phone
because they don’t listen
as much as they stay supple
and pull crabs from evaporite residue
and low tide’s exposed body.
There was once a land bridge here
since crumbled by erosive storms,
and swallowed—a path for the mist.
Some of the birds gather and become
an Apache helicopter, all dogged
on defining a plainness of our day.
It wants these waves to toss up blast powder
and spice, a harvest shrapnel thrown and lodged
at our ears and mouths. But we know better.