Diane Wakoski





Braised Leeks & Framboise

for Annette Smith

The ocean
this morning 
has tossed someone’s garbage
over its surface,
half oranges
that make my mouth pucker for
fresh juice,
lettuce leaves
looking fragile, decorative, like scarves
for the white curling locks
of old water.
It is not hard
to think of women
coming up out of the dense green,
fully formed but not
of flesh, of some tissue, floating
goddess-like
and pale.

For breakfast
one morning,
you served fresh leeks,
slender
as fingers, from a sea goddess,
braised, with butter, delicate,
from the Altadena garden.

It was at your house
that I first drank
that clear heady liquor,
framboise,
an eau-de-vie, promising
that fruit did not have to be
fresh-cheeked, fat or stupid,
that it could read Proust,
or learn differential
equations.

The Saturnian taste
of old raspberries, and the moon’s
clear-fingered insistence
of leek. These two intangible things
I owe you,
along with — what? or
is there more?

The image of an onion, its sweet blanket layers.
The pebbled surface
of a raspberry.