Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Taste of Memories


certain foods get me thinking about you:
spicy curry atop rice and peas, fried “plant-in”,
and cabbage salad on the side
transports me back to those times
when we shared more than meals–
culinary expert teaching naive me
how to season chicken and cook rice without burning it
and how to savor the flavor of coconut juice
that like you,
i drank and chewed.
our hearts steamed like fresh vegetables,
aroma making me hungry for more.
i had a large appetite back then,
begging you to feed me more of you,
tell me stories to make me swim to Caribbean islands,
expose me to different music styles and lifestyles
and herbs and such.

i quietly still want you to
intoxicate me with your touch like you used to do
because though it has been years,
after you, i’ve never been able to lay in a bed
and be completely relaxed.
my back never used to have this amount of tension
that only grows tighter from lack of attention.
even when i had problems back then,
they never seemed to be too much.
now i’m choking to death and my old life preserver
is probably the server of happy memories
to someone else.

i hope she’s happy.
i hope you’re happy,
emancipated from my hard head that refuses to forgive
and my sharp tongue that enjoys throwing knives.
will there be a next time?
i wonder if you’ll ever be between more than my mind
like chicken patty in coco bread
washed down by fresh carrot juice.
will we return to our roots
or are they split ends
never go be rekindled again?

Jah knows best.

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