WFAEats
11:59 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Eggplant

Eggplants
Eggplants
Credit USDA.gov

So many times I've witnessed this
that familiarity is not the word

to conjure my mother's taking up of the breast-
shaped purple blackness, her paring

knife commencing from the areola,
strokes of peel stripping away into the sink

until the corpuscular fruit is nude
and ready to be sliced. In the colander

she tiers the rounds, salting each layer
to draw out the bitter water, and weights

them down with a piece of heart-
shaped iron with which her tailor father pressed.

They sit on the counter all day:
the eggplant with the heart pressing on them,

the water in the pan beneath
turning red.

Author Joseph Bathanti is North Carolina’s Poet Laureate. He “acts as an ambassador of N.C. literature, using the office as a platform from which to promote N.C. writers and the potentially transformative qualities of poetry and the written word.” Bathanti shares this poem in honor of National Poetry Month. “Eggplant” was first published in Restoring Sacred Art, Star Cloud Press, 2010. You can view upcoming dates for Bathanti’s appearances read more of work on his blog.