Tuna Wraps, Vultures and Demons, Oh My!

Photo by Harry Lette on Pexels.com

Pliant rough tortilla

Unfolds under fingertips

Revealing creamy innards

Spread out

Like the ritual of long ago

.

Piercing the fishy mound

The tomato laced mash

Rides aboard fork tines

And is placed onto tongue

Vulture

Outside my window

Circling

Circling

.

There’s a bitterness

And a fleeting fear

Of being poisoned

Of writhing in death

And agony

Only to come

.

Clearing past lives

I continue the mission

Chewing

Then surgically extracting

Lifeless leaves

I take them in

Feeling what’s left of their

Withering limp bodies

Lodge in between tooth an gum

.

Cold flesh

Of tomato guts

Bursts across palate

As molars decimate

And I remember smoke

And I remember suicidal hotel rooms

.

Now a blue jay

Sits on the line

Below the vulture, circling

As if waiting, waiting

.

Chewing

I entertain

Just for a moment

That it might answer

And ask if it could help me find home?

.

Chewing

There is no answer

But this next bite

Saturated with brined saltiness

The seasoned mash

Sloshes between cheeks

And I am grimacing

Tongue dislodging

Pieces from the cracks

.

Blue Jay is gone

As is for vulture

And I

Feel so very alone

.

Remembering, remembering

I can’t help

Remembering

That smoke

That loss

That yearning

To go Home

.

And the shame

The shame

A professional seeking re-admission

Into the only home

She’s ever really known

.

Chewing

These last overseasoned bites of innards

Before the tortilla

Becomes my only focused goal

.

I saved it for last

Like so many years ago

Where meals were skeletal

And the next allowance might be days away

I saved it

I made it last

I made it last

Peeling apart layers

Most eyes don’t even see

Extracting, surgery, pieces

Making it last

.

This time

I feel the impatience rising

The tidiousness of this ritual

However necessary it might have seemed

A decade ago

I pick up the rest

And roll it, feeling a welcome denseness

Compressing, masticating

And I swallow

.

This time, unlike that time

I am exhausted by the ritual

But this time, just like that time

I try to ignore

The Demons

Writhing in my gut

Still they greet

At each attempt of feeding

.

This time, just like that time

The Demons are still there

Waiting

Waiting

They’ve been there

A very long, long time.

. . .

Thanks for reading. Please join me next week as I re-create the food memory, “Carl’s Jr.”

**If you’d like to learn more about the Food Memories book I am referencing for these posts, you can support a small bookstore by purchasing it here: 

https://www.ebookwoman.com/book/9781689839075

or by searching for Food Memories by Reagan Lakins on any major book selling website.

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