Tofu

Written by Jack Andrew Cribb

Treat me like tofu,
marinate me in a thousand different spices
for I am a bleached lump who wants to take on the colours
of the wide world,
in such sweet simple symbiosis.
When two items are cooked together they do not steal,
rather they give, they soak into one another,
melt and diffuse, osmosis by association,
and if the balance is right,
they create something greater
than the sum of their parts.

Treat me like tofu,
chop me into bits, steam me, fry me until
my skin is golden, the same gold that radiates
from people deeply in touch with the gusto of themselves,
and like with food
makes you salivate.
I hope the spices and herbs you use
are sourced from good places,
resplendent in colour,
deep green mint or impossible lapiz,
and grown with love.
Give me your best,
and I will give you mine.

Make dishes out of me that
you will remember your whole life,
dishes that become a staple, dishes you write in the notebooks
you shall give to your grandchildren one day.
I’d like to be the dish that makes you happy,
makes you warm,
a brief escape from raw sandpaper sadness,
a little adventure with a bowl
and a spoon,
a sprinkle of paprika like Moroccan sand,
the smoky perfumed rosemary,
ras el hanout or bouquet garni dreams,
and if you give me time to simmer,
if you do not linger over my watched pot
voyeuristically,
I will become rich
and full and hearty.
Good for the both of us.

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