By Hamnah Kahn
i wait each year for the warmth of soup bowls
such is a morning that the cold glass of water
beside me feels too far to reach out to.
the birds flutter their blue and black feathered wings
on the windows, an old song i wake up to.
i want to unearth a simple morning, bite into the
charming sweet of plums half the size of my palms,
size of the dust-layered bowls sitting on the kitchen counter.
i eat every love that’s given to me, the taste of food
dense on my tongue; buttery breads, warm potato biscuits,
spiced garlic-egg samosas, sticky honeyed pastries,
but even when the floor of the earth cracks, never do i not recognize
the heavy-light balance of hearty soups, a mellow
tending to the throat when the liquid descends past the tongue.
lone bowls sit on either side of a circle-shaped table,
a cleft on the mouth of each bowl like a dip in the fruit,
thumb sized and dwindling.
love is the vegetables pulled from the earth,
with dough-softened hands; holding them intimately,
hands embracing their bumpy and earth laden skin.
devotion is when one caresses the pot before placing
it on the stove, the fire warms the bottom,
a humid weather swinging above it.
the muted colors of the vegetables brighten under
the easy wonder of the magnanimous pot, a dazzling friendship –
we are more than the things we realize we tend to care for.
adoration is the soup-pot warmed with a love tender
as the vegetables stirred being stirred and stilled with a wooden spoon.
tired we sit in front of each other, slurping the soup
from the cleft in the bowl, a broken piece that collects
the warmth from the soup into the mouth.
we lift our heads and our eyes find each other,
evaporate lifting off the bowls, onto our faces as
we breathe words in the small circular space.
in our laps we hold each other’s heads,
like holding a soup bowl in one hand and a
slice of crumbly milk bread in another. with slow hands
we discover new ways to hold each, like hands navigating;
clumsily dipping the bread in the bowl, letting the bread soften.
but not too much, never in excess.
must we need more than the food between us-
filling our bellies, our hearts and mouths, the spaces in our hand-lines.
when i say my heart waits for you, i mean it like the
earth catching onto the edges of vegetables just pulled from the soil –
a wait till another year.
Hamnah is a pakistani university student mostly found tucked in corners of libraries. she loves petting cats, reading, and fresh fruits. she also adores writing on human connections and history.