Surrendering to Hunger,
A Sort of Ode to Red Bell Peppers
Jennifer Angelina Petro
Green crowned, red as blood,
trying hard to be symmetrical
and beautifully failing,
the bell pepper sits on the cutting board
of the cook’s devotion.
Gut to seed. The knife’s whisper
sings hollow through chambers
that fit so perfectly
in the palm of the hand.
From within, the sweet smell
rises, first to the nose, and then
to the eyes, and then
to the hands.
When the halves open,
a little theater of red drapery
reveals itself, like a ghost
lifting its arms, offering treasures
strung from gauzy curtains, like
clusters of little, waxing gibbous moons.
Both the cook, and the pepper,
surrender to hunger—
one to be lifted up and devoured,
the other to bow their head and eat.
The flavors of tin-laced blood and earth,
hum in the mouth a glistening
forgiveness, of which, there is nothing
to forgive, but still,
it feels that way, as body becomes
body, as life becomes life,
sliced into little moments
of edible wonder.