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A FEW WAYS TO EAT A CITY RAW (poem) - ko ko thett - Burma (Myanmar)/Finland - Poetry International
 
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A FEW WAYS TO EAT A CITY RAW
[when you end up somewhere you don’t want to be]

eat it like a durian
eat it like someone who’d puke at the mere mention of a durian
you are marooned on durian island
you despise both its shape and soldier-sock stench
you will wait until you can’t wait any longer
eat or die, now you can be the primate you’ve always been
smash open the thorny husk against a rock
dig your digits deep into the succulent pulp
you don’t want to look at it, you don’t want to smell it
hold your breath or block your nose
shove the flesh down your throat
you will get used to it


[when you are in transit]

eat it walking like you would a box of noodles
it takes better psychomotor skills than piloting a jet
your fingers have to know your chopsticks
your feet have to know your walk
your mouth has to know your bite
you have to know your way

zebra crossings, red lights, green lights, yellow lights, dogs being walked,
bicycles whizzing by, policewomen, window displays, functionalist buildings,
fashionable locals . . .

only humans, and a few other alien species, can eat on their feet
locate a bin when your sticks get close to the bottom of the box
trash the empty box, walk on


[when you end up in a remote location with your lover
who has bought you the tickets behind your spouse’s back]

you know the scenario
the most pleasurable trip
you’ve got it gratis
you cherish both the journey and the destination
now you must be a slow tourist

you don’t want to hurry and finish your paid annual leave
you won’t share it with anyone
you don’t want it gone,
you don’t want it dognapped by the big bully at home

you must be discreet
if you fail, you’ll become an insufferable social outcast
if you succeed, you’re a lifelong prisoner of your own secret


[when you aren’t sure why you’re there in the first place]

eat it like a fish who nibbles but won’t take the bait
the bloody piece of earthworm is tempting
unless you want to understand the worm’s agony
you don’t want to snatch him
you might as well be generous for once

let others go first
see how tightly hooked your snack is
see the line, see the knot, see the float, see the sun,
size up the angler through the rippled shadow of his lure’s weight

in this scenario
you may be fed, but you won’t be filled