You could sell that

Jasmine Soukieh is a Canberra-born and raised Lebanese-Australian. She has just finished up her doctorate in nutritional sciences.  Jasmine is one of the Founding Co-editors of be:longing.


“You could sell that.”
‘My food?’
“Your food.”
My food –
But my food
My food is also me.
I mean
It is my outdoor face
It always was
My most palatable part
“You could sell that.”
Maybe I could
To what end?
Or whose?
I worry
Food can be servitude.
It is deference and hospitality.
To a host.
Not a guest.  
To a host
Who would subdue with praise knowing that heaping mass on just one section of floor soon causes it to cave in
Food can be a whip. 
“You should sell that!” 
In a place that would barter my bones?
I said it was me
So did you
And anyway
Food is
My cloth damp with antiseptic;
My stitches after the last crack sounds;
Food is the lights finally going out in the building;
The security alarm being set;
Food is the two late-night guards posted until morning when the next gawping crowd will come by to pay and see
That foreignness is not so bad
In a package. 
“You should sell that.”
But in the night, food is my balm.
“You should sell that.”
But at what price?      

© Jasmine Soukieh, 2022