Within the Glass
In the den, my Mother rakes fish through a window.
Cancer gives her a headache
and these days a strange odor chases her
from the shoreline. Somewhere beyond this wall
and over miles of black rock, she's got her nose
to the breath of the sea and her eyes full of sand.
Out by the washsink beneath the pear tree,
Grandfather's cubed fingers sail the bellies
of the Menpachi my mother and her brothers caught
last evening in Miloli'i. The surface of his hands break
with wrinkles and blood vessels after decades
of cattle labor and a motion derived from pulling
intestines for slop. A pot boils over with foam on the stove
and Grandmother splits the fish in halves
with a pairing knife. Setting the bones in the water,
she watches them boil themselves for hours. Up in the coffeeland,
beside a WWII-issued jeep, I'm learning new ways to consolidate the word "pear"
with the avocadoes. My Mother rests on an understanding
that I've quietly taken to books and drawings
and spend my time out of earshot, plucking coffee berries, reliant
on ideas I've found most curious in her country.