Poem with Ginger in it

This rough hooked lump, this botched
antler of a dwarf moose,
this half-melted candelabrum

when skinned and cut
is clean and bright—
sun yellow, in cross section.

Wok full of broccoli,
forkful of forest fire:
Radicle incendiary, light me up.

Strip the paint off my throat
so that for two days, swallowing
my spit will feel like strep.

I love the pharyngeal singe.
I love the medicinal pain
that switches on a siren in my brain

and makes me pay attention
to my food.
Pepper is tepid,

cinnamon impotent.
Galangal, begone,
I’m on a binge—

it’s the heat in my chai,
the kick in my Moscow Mule,
my game-changer,

game-winner,
my aspirin, my acid, my fire in winter,
my pinch of Punjab, my ginger.

 

Amit Majmudar is a novelist, poet, essayist, and diagnostic nuclear radiologist (M.D.). He writes and practices in Dublin, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, twin sons, and baby daughter.

 

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