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I'm putting up soup today
the way I put up firewood:
my desk stacked with cords
of carrots; broccoli, limbed
and green; billets of meat
for toothy flavor; potatoes
for slow heat. Two knotty,
sweet, red peppers. Parsley,
mint, and lemon grass, of course.

When the fire's kindled,
when the souping begins,
I stir to the point
sweet becomes savory-sour.
Where the garlic of ash
meets the cilantro of albóndigas.

For the place taste insists,
turns back on itself,
syllables smoking, flames
banking against the cool
grate of night.

Bruce Willard

Holding Ground
Four Way Books

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