Gritty Details

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tonight's Poet Corner: Kisu Shite-mo Ii?

Kisu Shite-mo Ii?
by Belinda Roddie

For me, kissing a boy was like
driving to the local supermarket,
all cursive on the sign and rickety
automatic doors, and picking out
a plastic container of tuna rolls
from the sushi section, right next
to the artisanal cheeses and
the discounted wine display.

It tasted fine, for its price and
quantity. The dry rice was an adequate
vessel for the fish and avocado,
the seaweed slightly stiff before
giving in to the saliva and the
liquid hunger. Sometimes, the rolls
were meant to be spicy, though
I usually ached for a bottle of
sriracha to add some extra power
to a not-so-bold ensemble of flavors.

I thought that eating this stuff
for eight dollars was the best I
could get - something I could afford
and eat without scrutiny. Much like
boys' kisses, storebought sushi
leaves little to the imagination, but
at least I felt the ingredients somewhat
thriving on my yearning tongue.

For me, kissing a girl was like
being seated at the bar in a small,
intimate restaurant, where the sushi
chefs offered an omakase, and I placed
my trust in the cuts of their salmon
and the art of their rolls. They made
me start light: thin sashimi drizzled
with delicate sauces, shrimp delivered
in squares on beds of rice and scallions.
As the plates got heavier, I could feel

the food dissolving in my mouth,
the blue crab leaving its savory
footprints on both my tastebuds
and my soul, the scallops scrambling
to make sense of my quivering
lips. Bite after bite, dish after dish, glass
after glass after glass of sake, I was warm,
comfortable, and at home. The personal
orgasm of culinary romance shook
me to my core and left me with pins
and needles and a lingering desire for
more (if only I had another hundred
dollars to spare for a second round).

Thankfully, kissing a girl doesn't require
a credit card. It gives you freedom in how
you choose from the menu provided in
that dimly lit izakaya on the corner of
downtown. You devour the hamachi, 
sighing as it melts against your teeth,
tasting the tobiko as the shudders of
love start all over again before you even
get the chance to set your chopsticks down.

What I'm saying is that I love your sushi,
babe. And I will always eat your sushi.
I will eat the fuck out of your sushi. And
I'll always come back for seconds before
returning to that stupid grocery store
again for a package of mediocrity with
a side of Nirvana playing on the car stereo
and a sad puddle of gritty wasabi.

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