China Meshi Dreams
by Tony Osumi

relaxing in a hot tub of seaweed soup
nori and egg whites swirl
pork shoulder bobbing
translucent broth
cover my shoulders
lowering my chin to take a sip

roasted brick red
chunks hang plump
like apples on a chashu tree
warm and ripe
there for the picking
licking fingers
not even my own

pungent and fresh
melting in my mouth
with hot mustard and shoyu
whipped into circles
golden as Van Gogh’s Starry Night
new research finds:
fat free
sodium free
and lowers your

shrimp and lobster sauce
ladled thick on steaming rice
a priceless
chawan treasure
overflowing with
orange rubies
black bean pearls
and egg white satin
the last shrimp
reappearing after every bite

chicken chowmein
pan fried timelines
thread through
shiitake and china pea
weave and tie us
to our pioneer past
every glazed noodle
guaranteed to have
an issei on the other end

bell pepper and onion
witness the marriage
of pineapple and pork
with vinegar presiding
for seven days
and six nights
on a romantic
lazy susan

almond duck
cradled by lettuce
spruced up with nuts
born from hard times
scraps of duck meat
pressed between
heaven and earth
working peoples’
salvation--with gravy
my father says,
Almond Duck?
as hard to describe
as the grand canyon’s

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Originally published in the Pacific Citizen, Holiday Issue December 1998

Updated: 7/7/06

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