Poem 175 ± November 26, 2015

David J. Daniels
Coriander with Mortar and Pestle

When you texted me
you were positive,

my attention was first
called to consider

The Language of Botany.
My attention was then

called to consider
The Language of Seismic Rupture.

I was standing alone
in the kitchen

and the word warm
came to me.

I was prepping a meal
for someone else

when the word

I looked hard at the seed
in its stone bowl

and thought
how the seed, first

by resistance,
then by hurry,

would take its punishment,

at any hint
of a fault line, then,

the soft fibers,
the raincoat torn,

to open up to pulp.
I was trying

to prevent
by argument

that feeling of revelation,
having read

somewhere how the longer
withheld, the sweeter

the oils were.
My attention was then

called to consider
The Language of Old-School Grammar:

the oils were or the oils
are? I kept looking at

the time
when the fruit

of all things
from the seed head

split, and I sped it
toward completion.


David J. DanielsDavid J. Daniels is the author of Clean (Four Way Books, 2014) winner of the Four Way Books Intro Prize and finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. He is also the author of two chapbooks, Breakfast in the Suburbs (Seven Kitchens Press, 2012) and Indecency (Seven Kitchens Press, 2013), selected by Elena Georgiou as co-winner of the 2012 Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. David teaches composition in the University Writing Program at the University of Denver.

This poem is not previously published.