Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “food

Full



i’ve got that
“newlywed happy love” weight;
that
“you’ve filled my heart and tummy
and now i can’t button my jeans” weight;
that
“i’ll take a slice of you
with extra whipped cream” weight.

your love is salty caramel sweet;
your words are hot sauce when i’m fried chicken
and your kiss is like a whole Maine lobster
with extra melted butter
and i’m hungry!
feed me!

always satisfy my appetite for your love.
even when i think i’m stuffed,
i haven’t had enough.
you have added pounds to my life
that i cherish
and carry with me proudly.

i am full
of you.


Battle of the Sexes


hardened as i may try to be,
i can’t run away from the fact
that i am in fact,
a woman.
i am strong without a doubt,
able to do whatever i set my mind to,
but inside i am soft as tissue,
sensitive like scarred skin,
delicate as seraphim and cherubim
and spend my energy cherishing
everyone around me.
sometimes the weather gets cloudy
and i forget my anatomy,
think i have pecs instead of breasts,
a mustache above my lips,
unrecognizable hips
and a voice deep and rich as chocolate.

but i am not this basic idea or definition.
i am the kiss on your forehead when your confidence is missing.
i am the gentle touch when trouble gets to be too much
and the loving ear that will always be there.
i care.
i am the mirror on the wall that tells you all,
the pep in your step to take you from one success to the next.
i am a woman,
mother of creation,
removed from your rib so that your stomach is a little empty
so that when you get hungry, you’ll know that you need me.
i am the appetizer, main course, and dessert,
the one that you love but still tend to hurt,
the one who loves you but still likes to search
for herself outside of your help.

i am not the same as you.
we complement each other like orange and blue,
like honey and dew,
sweet and tickling.
oh, what a feeling
to stop pretending
and start claiming
my womanhood.


Healthy Bulimia


fresh acid burning in the back of my throat,
darkening my teeth
and freeing that stabbing feeling
in the pit of my stomach,
i purge all that is negative
out of me.
i used to look at bitterness and anger and self loathing
and pain and pity
and say desperately, “feed me”
but i’ve found new food today.
tears of joy and peace as toxins release
and when i breathe,
i am a new person.

the world is so different now.

i didn’t know i was viewing life through dirty eyeglasses,
mistaking danger for greener pastures.
now i see what i was missing.
i am emptying,
slowly but surely
and in the future,
i see me happy
and dancing like no one is looking,
living like everyone is looking,
and free
to not care either way.


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.


Joy in Being Pursued


there’s joy in being pursued.
the prey doesn’t have to convince the predator
that she is food.
and me,
i’m a fine plate
so all who are hungry
better get their minds and their lives straight
before they think about dining on me.
besides, i have too many calories
for those on intelligence diets,
am way too rich for ulcer-ridden men
to stomach me
and too damn sweet
for weak ones with cavities.
i stalk the earth,
or rather walk it simply
and my natural scent attracts
the brave ones to me.
but they can’t get too close too fast
or make too much noise,
for i’ll run off before they even muster up the voice
to express interest.
or if i stay, chances are
i’ll lose interest.
i am flighty to say the least
in this forest of wild beasts,
loving the attention fully,
but still doing me…
i am beautiful prey parading past predator’s territory
without getting painfully pounced upon
until that wild, brave one
who is strong and smart enough
finds his target in just enough
time to conquer me.
trust me,
he will enjoy this dish mightily.


Me…It’s What’s For Dinner


SATURN DEVOURING HIS CHILDREN (1824) by Francisco de Goya.

i am a lovely dish
on a porcelain dinner plate.
who has the pleasure of devouring me tonight?
is it lust?
on some nights, that answer would be right,
but this time the diner is one
with a more refined taste.
his name is ambition
and he drools as he stares at my face.
he prefers to eat me raw like oysters on a half shell,
relishes in my taste and puts me through hell.
i wish the roles were reversed–
that i could be sitting in a fine dining establishment
and order plates of ambition to my heart’s content.
i would eat like a glutton and be worry-free,
having taken control of what controls me.
but of course this is just a dream–
ambition bites my head so i can’t concentrate,
then he plays with my body as he scrapes the plate.
is it too late to decide
that i don’t want to be consumed?
or will i forever be confined
to this miserable doom?
i am food,
meant to be chewed and digested
by plans that i myself suggested.
although it hurts to be bitten
by my own brainchild,
there’s no place i’d rather be right now.
i am in a time of transition,
not fully cooked
but attractive enough to be eaten,
strong enough to be on the plate
and not lying in a corner beaten.
i have this plan…
since i taste rather delicious,
once ambition has scarfed me down
and scraped all the dishes,
i will cause a chemical reaction in his insides
and play with the pool
where his stomach acid resides.
i will swim there and cause a riot
until he realizes all too late
that he can’t tolerate me in his diet.
from there he will regurgitate
and i will come out victorious
before it’s too late.
i am not just a lovely dish
on a porcelain dinner plate,
but one who has learned to wait
until the appropriate time and hour to fight.

i am not one to be devoured.
i sit at the table tonight
and i have the power.


Black in America


is blackness a curse?
they’re trying to kill us.
the darker brother and sister are put on display
like slaves
in an open market.
they’re trying to kill us,
letting us choose our own death
whether it’s how we ingest, protect, or have sex,
it all results in the same effect.
Uncle Sam is the overseer,
lashing us with the whip of the economy,
sugar cane is liquor and weed,
cotton and tobacco is money,
our diet is poison
and we are our biggest enemies.
we are trying to kill us.
is blackness a curse?
a voodoo magic trick
to be put on display for the world?
as much as and as often as i
would like to deny
connection to what is plaguing us,
i can’t.
i am part of the family put up for sale today
and there’s no possibility of hiding,
my dark skin gives me away
and there’s no way to move past
calls from bill collectors every day
so i too am a slave,
moving between the field and the house,
moving between my dreams and security,
between reality and fantasy,
fighting the notion
that blackness is a disease.
but perhaps we are airborne
because parts of us spread into society…
we all breathe
in the blackness,
breathe out the oppression,
breathe
in the beauty,
breathe out the lessons,
breathe
in the answers,
breathe out the question:
is blackness a curse?