Mediterranean Cooking for Two Poem By Janet Holmes
Octopus in one hand, cookbook in the other, he nearly
loses his focus over the black print, the famous chef’s direction
to dash the small body against the sink’s steel—“vigorously,”
according to the recipe, in imitation of Greek women
tenderizing the new catch right on the shore’s wet rocks.
Here in his kitchen the sound of that flesh landing again and again,
flaccid and unmusical, troubles him. “Fifteen or sixteen times,” read the instructions! But something of his own
body sings in that dull sound, mortal and precarious. He
would serve the dish later that afternoon with a fine sherry,
the house already redolent of garlic and olives. Nine. Ten.
It is love: the small creature pitched and retrieved again,
from the stainless cold (thirteen), sliced, sautéed, and oildrizzled: Fifteen. It must be. Sixteen. All he can handle…
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