I comb my sieve for pebbles. Set beans to soak.
Ready cast-iron—in Cambridge, as in California.
Listing winter days, the tap of my knife is a mantra;
an onion’s Saturn rings cleaved into a thousand
milk teeth. I send them all, spitting
into the pot’s shimmering fish-eye. Holy, almost
the groan of each crude batch, grown upon parings
and dregs and slow as a gold-miner’s sourdough
sponge. The aromatics of place, of time, absorbed
with always room for a whim. I watch
my improvisations wither into thick, black
butter. And so it goes—my ego settles
whenever I sing a fresh pot. Mind flat as the igneous sheet
that guides a redwood stream around the canyon’s bend.
Now, as then, I long to be lightened, gently rolled
into place, splayed open to the thrill of currents.
I comb my sieve for pebbles. To hand, I have only the residue
of pantry jars, the sour rind of a muzzy winter orange.
The pot is left wanting a shaggy bouquet of laurel,
leaves stripped from the crook in our path. Hung up
over a stove thick with eucalypt
scent. Flush with fog.
Kathryn Moll is an architect and California native. Her text-based drawings—collaborative
works created under the name modem—have been shown at the Yerba Buena Center for the
Arts in San Francisco, and the Cooper Union in New York City. She lives with her family in