Thursday, November 16, 2023

"The Smokehouse" by Yusef Komunyakaa

The Smokehouse

In the hickory scent
Among slabs of pork
Glistening with salt,
I played Indian
In a headdress of redbird feathers
& brass buttons
Off my mother’s winter coat.
Smoke wove
A thread of fire through meat, into December
& January. The dead weight
Of the place hung around me,
Strung up with sweetgrass.
The hog had been sectioned,
A map scored into skin;
Opened like love,
From snout to tail,
The goodness
No longer true to each bone.
I was a wizard
In that hazy world,
& knew I could cut
Slivers of meat till my heart
Grew more human & flawed.

Source of the text – Yusef Komunyakaa, Pleasure Dome: New and Collected Poems.  Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2001, pages 274-275.

TJB: Slow-cooked, pulled off the bone, with stress on strong “o” and “k” sounds—the sound of smoke—the poem remembers childhood play & smoked meat.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

Blog Archive