Something I Ate


Jemima jawing at me in the dark,

the box of mix thumping and jumping

on the table in tune to her swiveling hips,

setting my dream kitchen aglow with

a grin as bright as Jeanne Crain’s pinky ring.

I don’t want to hear anything she’s got to say.

I know she’s no good, can’t be trusted

near buttermilk and a mixing bowl.

Slick as bacon grease sizzling

on a cast iron skillet,

she’ll say anything until you turn her loose,

star-crossed prisoner of cardboard, corn syrup solids

and yellow dye Number 5.

She’s lost her kerchief and a few dozen pounds

but she’s half witch and I know it —

no stack of pancakes in all the world

can make me change my mind.

Jabari Asim is the author of the forthcoming books Sing It Like A God and Stop and Frisk.

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