Thursday, January 01, 2009

Milena Abrahamyan: Eating memories

Sour cherries were the first thing:
staining my fingers bloody,
tang on my tongue. I did not close
my eyes to remember the taste
of winters my mother would open
a jar of compote and I would wait,
sitting at the kitchen table,
saliva rushing into my mouth.

Another day it was apricots
with spots and holes where the worms
bit their way through pink flesh.
I remember being bothered by the fruit,
tasting bruised and rotting,
hosting animals. I refused to eat
the ones where an opening had been made.

Then we fried sunflower seeds
and even before my teeth bit
the warm seed out of its hard skin,
the smell of oil coaxed by low fire
beneath the pan filled the house
as we gathered in front of the TV
to watch Bollywood films.

I remember bringing a peach to my nose,
fuzz caressing skin, devouring
the sweet smell before biting in.
Eating cantaloupe in the balcony
on hot summer days and the bees
that gathered over nectar in my plate.

I learned to love the bitter
of grape seeds after 11 years,
every time I bit into fruit that had been growing
in the belly of thorny mountains,
facing hot mother sun, sucking zulal
water that trickled down the hills
of the land I had to leave.

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