The dollop of oil sits, a steaming surface
flakes of gold chili suspended in a blend of fire red
the burn awaiting your tongue.

Like a song from my childhood:
a familiar click of chopstick against chopstick, hot
tea pouring, a porcelain cup, and
the curve of a white, scooping spoon, ladling soup
and sauce.

Scents rise-
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ginger,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀soy,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀vinegar,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀sprouts,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀cilantro,
jalapeno,

a chime rings,
cold Canadian wind winds its way
through the gap
of door,

My belly wrapped
a familiar fullness,
my mouth burning fire

flavours that cannot be replicated
unless in a sparse kitchen,
the speech lilting in different songs from
nations that must be crossed by sea or plane.

The flavours embrace me
I feel weathered hands making this meal.

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