In The Kitchen

By Chen Jun

Early in the morning a dough rises from the bowl
curling upward.
He clenches his fists of bean paste, his mouth
dripping a black cocoa stream    …    

Hey, I say, have you just smuggled
nine knife mountains and nine oil pans from hell?
Deep-fried ghosts are the sweetest the crispiest the most intelligent
even in burned rims, and taste even better with soybean drinks.

He droops his sad expressions
like Oedipus’s crutch.
Collapsed in the steamer, he squeaks out a sweet smell
of duck soup from his soul — quack, quack.

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