Conversation during Lockdown
On our call, my 90 year-old mother reports:
She has made maggiritsa, Resurrection Soup,
quarantined version, two lamb chops, dill,
scallions, egg and lemon. Not the real thing,
with eyeballs, viscera, organs and boiled head,
thick and salty enough to gather up the dead.
These days of billowing silence bring up ghosts.
It’s night in LA, morning in London, liminal space
between two lives, two coasts. She’s all alone.
Did I want to hear the jobs she hated most?
At age six, her mother’s only daughter, standing
at sink’s edge, knocking a lamb’s head,
“gently, not hard” over and over, till out flew
the gluey sinus cavity gunk, “slow at first,”
“then it flowed!” My God, Mom! I make a face.
Go on. One hundred feet of guts curled in a bowl
held in her left hand, pushing with her right thumb,
“and you know what intestines hold, don’t you?
Dill and onion covered up the smell!”  Food of
Greek mountains, of Depression-era New York.
It’s Easter. I drink green tea. Wipe counters white,
one in a long line of paired women linked in time,
grateful I never had to wash shit from slaughter,
as we knock against the edge of what comes after.

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