I make sautés from letters you wrote.
I light a fire on a moveable stove
in the courtyard. Bring oregano,
salt. I make brochettes
from your anxieties, I fry a sweet crepe
from your want. Watch me, watch me –
and all the village gathers – I make light
and scent of fire at dawn
from your letters, neighbors descend from rooftops
to join, to watch me,
bringing chicken’s feathers, amulets
to ward off evil spirits
escaping the ink,
All agree: though it scratches in the mouth,
there is nothing more delicious.
Pays Dogon, Mali