Shishito Nights
by Wendy Gist


We arrive for the flash-fried
sweet pepper
bite—a peculiar
pile of pods.

Shishito’s swim
in chili ponzu sauce
presented in a pearl serving bowl
on a tablecloth of bamboo.

Slender letters float
by the glow of candle.
One-by-one, we decipher
C,O,I, L

with U dripping.
Blistered skins, singed stems—
neither of us identifying numbers—
we devour appetizer of the night.






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