Surrendering to Hunger, A Sort of Ode to Red Bell Peppers, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

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.

































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