rice

i woke up thinking about rice.
sticky rice and sauces i cannot name
and the golden-grey dusk
of a town i cannot name because
we weren't quite sure where we were
only that we were hungry

there was one light
on a misty street
we went in
it could have been a cafe
or a birthday party
a twinkly-eyed grandmother's house
with tables and tables of relatives
either way they made room
parting the benches
rinsing their bowls for us
steaming ladles
dipped from the grass and sea and sediment
 of time
 offered with twinkling eyes
and secrets
and words we did not know
we seemed only a mild inconvenience
somehow expected

and were their eyes laughing
i've always wondered
as we offered coins we could not count
with thankful nods and smiles
these American visitors
who happened upon Heaven
and tasted
for only one meal
knowing we would go back
to our familiar streets
and towns
and time
hungering always
for something we cannot name


(the month of January has me thinking about food, travel, hospitality, heaven, and how they all mix together. I'll be writing more on these topics in January. Anyone care to travel with me? Leave a link in the comments to a post related to any of these- the experience of food, travel, or hospitality, and I will link you up).

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