Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Easy Cakes of Ottolenghi by Jacqueline Saphra

In his salad days of skins and caves, man
gave chase. He slaughtered buck, swallowed
the heart. He knew adrenaline, hauled woman

after woman by the hair. That’s all gone.
Now there’s money and a new ache every day,
sags in unexpected places, a loss of collagen

and desire. Hunger’s always knocking
at the edges, just the tongue that’s jaded.
The waitress who’s an actress resting

crouches by the table: Sorrel sir, or salsify?
The soft salt melt of sea-bream, halibut,
a thrill of salsa, quince and pomegranate.

Then dessert: the easy cakes of Ottolenghi
drip their syrups, glisten in the night, secrete
fresh tones of apple, grenadilla, rose.

Jacqueline Saphra’s first full collection, The Kitchen of Lovely Contraptions (flipped eye) was developed with the support of Arts Council England and nominated for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.

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