Anger Cuisine | Chapter and Verse | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Anger Cuisine 

My wife boils off the anger

that has brought her to stuff cabbage

well after midnight. The recipe

is ritual, a necessary cleansing of demons.

She grins and steams the leaves

to a wilted, reptilian texture, then adds

shards of onion and crushed garlic

to a mix of ground meat. Her kneading hands

mimic the motion of repeated strangulation.

Somewhere our boss feels

this voodoo working its way

through; skin burning, head pounding,

insides alive and squirming.

Our kitchen is a steamy temple that exhales

a rising condensation that beads the windows

with liquid scales. A second skin of sweat forms

like a mask on her forehead and upper lip.

We sit side by side on the couch

and enjoy this late-hour supper, savoring

the taste of gourmet therapy, with its drizzle of

tomato sauce and garnish of revenge,

hungering for a few bites more.

Fred Shaw lives in Perrysville and waits tables at a well-established eatery in the suburbs. He is a graduate student in Carlow University's MFA program. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. on independent radio, WYEP 91.3 FM.


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