Six Years of Marination
by Joe Aires

Somehow my daughter and I found the path.
A summer lunch in Emerald Isle.
Tiptoes across the sand, a beach ethereal.
The link to my grandma’s lair, her kitchen,

forms when we both order ribs. I have no
notion of where or when grandma acquired
her recipe. She shone Lone Star. We sit
as transient Tar Heels when the ribs bite.

(I remember) her whisking wrist, basting
the pork while it cooked, slowly carmelizing,
as each new coat of liquid brick worked its
culinary voodoo. Like Esquivel’s
narrator, those ribs, imbued with her heart.

Our shared lunch smacks sweet--an unintended
imitation. The zest and savor force
a look at my rib partner, my first blood.
Sauce drenched chin, cheeks. Mirth laced eyes, unaware
of the phantasms I sense in the spices.

When she is older, I will rewind time,
alluding to the brown sugar, the ghostdust
speckled ketchup: a fundament. And she
will glean through tang and taste how the chef
introduced herself to the granddaughter

she had never known.


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