run while you can

Call the ——‘black.’

'Hook me.' One room. Icheon, South Korea. Winter 2011.

White rice is on my two-burner stovetop at present and often.
Breakfast rice, barely and rice, boredom rice: damn near daily.
As always, black rice finds itself boiling, mixed into the mess.
Tainted by the way it bleeds, the kettle contents turn purple.
Purple rice, like many foreign firsts, boggled my mind at first.

Black rice gets its Korean name from the Chinese: 훅미 (huk-mi).
한국사람, Koreans, also enjoy 현미 (hyeon-mi), the brown variety.
An after-school student of mine shares  this name: Hyeon-Mi.
She seldom speaks; glasses glare a certain shyness in her stare.
More than twice, I’ve called her ‘black rice;’ she smiles, my mistake.

Hyeon-mi on my mind, I add one more pinch of black rice, late.
Rice is life. No joke there. Rice is where bread has always been.
It has been said: Jesus is the bread of life. Who is the rice of life?
My one-room apartment clouds as rice steam mounts on the ceiling.
I think about heaven, if such a place exists; I think about rice life.


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