“Eggplant”

I loved the white moon circles
and the purple halos,
on a plate as the salt sweat them.
The oil in the pan smoked like bad
days in the Syrian desert—
when a moon stayed all day—
when morning was a purple
elegy for the last friend seen—
when the fog of the riverbank
rose like a holy ghost.
My mother made those white moons sizzle
in some egg wash and salt—
some parsley appeared
from the garden
and summer evenings
came with no memory
but the table with white dishes.
Shining aubergine—black-skinned
beauty, bitter apple.
We used our hands.

— Peter Balakian (1951-)

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