The onion parts where the knife greets it,
Falling away in rings that pile
On the board and sting your eyes. Then
Take up the greens in a bundle,
Hold them ready for the cut,
Keeping them all together so that
they may be sliced at once
with no falling away, no defections.
Cut them fine, so that everywhere
There will be a trace of their presence.
Garlic next, the thinnest lengthwise slice
To make available the subtle tang and savor
That trumps all other flavors and makes them sing.
Then the hot peppers, their fire banked
When the seeds that contain it are removed,
Are cut in strips and added to the rest.
Last take the flayed papaya, undressed, revealed
In its bare flesh, running with juice
Begging to be bitten, cut into, eaten
But now merely made ready in small sections
To better absorb the flavor of its companions
Swimming in the liquor then added
Alive and changing everything to itself
Teaching the merely perishable how to last,
to become more than it might have been,
Marc Lecard, lives, writes, cooks, and plays music in Ypsilanti. He has published two crime novels; his crime and supernatural short stories are in numerous magazines and anthologies, in print and online.