Thursday, July 12, 2007

Celeste Snowber: Beneath the skin of plum black

Plum black
the color
of love marinated
in drips of oil
tenderized in
the h/earth
in New England kitchen.

Star leaves
at slender head
pear like in shape
smooth for fingers touch
endless dishes
meals of everyday
formed from you
a sacred vegetable
in its nakedness.

Eggplant.
Jeweled in sautéed onions
adorned with red
pepper, a hint
of green parsley
a slice of lamb.

It was your colors
my mother was
in love with,
aromas took second place
to the magnificent
hues of dark purple
blackened violet.

I’ve had to disguise
you, eggplant
for my children’s palette
Mushed with olive oil,
yogurt and plenty of garlic
you transform into
babaganoosh, still
a far cry from
the 101 ways my
Armenian mother
would lovingly open
you up to your
pungent parts.

“Never leave the pan without
a hint of green,” she would say,
“Look how stunning the red
pepper accents the plum
of eggplant”

What was in the pan
was living art,
smells, textures, hues
were the heaven of the
new earth, and the
scent of the old land.

I’m the second generation
infused with creativity
close to the bone.
Color was the heart
of my home,
hidden in the eggplant
and hidden in a life.

My mother had an
eggplant soul
a beauty of both
dark and light
yellow white flesh
of eggplant encased
with purple hues
the meeting of art and life
just beneath the
skin of plum black.


Celeste Nazalee Snowber

This poem has appeared in Ararat Quarterly, Fall, 2005. Vol. XLIV No. 184, p. 56. We use it by kind permission of its author.

1 comment:

Lola Koundakjian said...

Comment by Alan Whitehorn:

Lola,

I really liked this poem.
Thanks for posting it.

still fumbling with the technology,

Alan