WHEN I SAY I WANT TO LEARN YOUR MOTHER’S RECIPE, I MEAN

Ancient people shaped pots from clay………………………..to make fire a thing to swallow.

Want & its answer is prehistoric,………………………..our bodies fevers inherited

from the earth — centuries of need………………………..seared out of flesh & given names.

In glass lids I’ve watched light………………………..leap to my cheek

when you tongued my name & understood………………………..how one mistakes the kind

-ling of two people in love………………………..for a fuse. Now that it’s ended,

now that skin is just skin…………………………& not electricity that blesses touch,

a summer of leftover longing rises,………………………..swarms the air scorch-thick, swelters

my body into lighthouse.………………………….Scientists say that energy only becomes

something else, that desire defies………………………..death itself. So the window is blanched

not by steam but every breath………………………..that passed between our mouths,

the kettle’s keen whistle an echo…………………………to each night blistering thirst.

In the saucepan, cut from an animal………………………..that trusted the hand & its knife,

above a stove’s helix coil……………………….radiating the dream beneath my ribs,

sweet now the flame’s gone long & low —…………………………meat simmers & crisps.

Natalie Wee is a queer Peranakan community-builder. She has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Anthology. Born in Singapore to Malaysian parents, she is currently a settler in Tkaronto (Toronto).