soup

chicken
carrots and pumpkin
yam and chocho and green banana
a handful of allspice

and a scotch bonnet pepper
hot enough to remind you
you are strong enough
to swallow the sun

do we have enough thyme i wonder
watching my mother skim the fat
as i wait to drink a soup
thick enough to plant a flag in

she is humming something long forgotten
a song she was taught by a spirit in a dream
she says one day the spirits will find me
if they havent already
i wonder if i will know how to hear them

i make the same soup now
i know now that
the chickens are asian
and the yam is african
and the pepper is caribbean
and the chocho is south american
and the spices are indian
and yet they form one dish
that has to check other
on the census

people ask for my recipe
as if they plan to open a restaurant
people ask where i am from
and hear not here when i say everywhere
people ask what i am
i say i am what i eat

because i learned long ago
if you have to ask for a recipe
then sweet child
you dont know how to cook
dont know how to listen to the food
dont know how to hear the spirits
sizzling
and spitting
and asking for ginger

so tek yuh spoon
out a mi bowl