Making Pasta Soup

I slice onions.
slice garlic
and a little ginger. the knife strikes
the wooden chopping board
acting like a mute
on plucked guitar strings. I pick it up
and shove them to the water,
currently settling
to boil. then add pasta.

my girlfriend is in the next room,
asleep with her hangover
at 2 p.m.—I can handle them better,
so I'm making her
some lunch. the water heats up,
begins to rise in froth
and foam. then sinks. I season
and it rises again
a slow heartbeat, driven by salt. the high heat
is delicious, my palms
less sweaty
than slick with settling steam.
I taste it; the flavour
is OK—it is quiet. healthy
at best. behind me
through the window
the sun is a trumpet blast.

when the soup has reduced by half
it draws her out
with a line like hunger. the soup
is thick
as a vacant garden
and tastes mainly of starch
with salt
and sliced onions. I know
she's a better chef
than I am. hell, we both know it.

"I made soup," I say.
"you made an effort,"
she says.

back to issue