A New Mythology for Hunger / Rachael de Moravia

Soup, they say,

is good for the soul.

But they never say whose.

I take down Granny’s copper pan,

with its stories of exile from the highlands, from Vysočina,

and dream of the strangers it’s fed.

Tarnished, blackened,

by years,

by flame,

by countless nourishing meals

that cannot now be reconstituted.

Mine is a liquid that will not boil.

Soulless, meniscus thin,


and yet—by turns—glutinous.

Bitter and viscid, it sticks in my throat.

Your consistency evades me.

Aching like I’ve never known hunger,

aching like we never shared a meal together—

(we were not the lovers fleeing home, building fires,

making broth in the dark forests of Central Europe)

These are different times and my history will not be your history—

(we will not cross the borders of our ordinary lives

to live as if the truth were true)

I add a few strands of your salt and pepper hair,

and stir in mustard threads from your readingwriting chair, but

I cannot find your taste in my mouth.

Rachael de Moravia is a British writer, journalist and university lecturer. Her journalism, essays, fiction, poetry and drama have appeared in UK and international publications. She currently lives by the water on the east coast of America, and is knee-deep editing her forthcoming memoir. www.rachael-de-moravia.com

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