Lotus Root

by Lynn Levin

Loving the hard to love,
I sought your human feet.
At the Chinese grocery you lay
in a bin pond mucked
like dredged up shoes.
Few shoppers choosing
you for their red baskets.

I washed you, peeled off
your brown socks
cut through the nowhere tunnels
of your nowhere escape routes.
Cut more.  Found more nothing.
Your slices all those holes
covered the butcher block
like CAT scans of forgetfulness.

On the tongue, not much to brag about
you tasted like jicama, raw potato.
But braised with sugar
and rice wine vinegar
you turned softer, more picklish.
No longer your old self
I liked you better.