The Rages Of Garlic Is Love
Poem By Cynthia Gallaher
Garlic, you poser,
you snowy-hearted non-participant,
lying languid in the pantry
like a cold-shouldered bimbo next to old onion.
I blow your cover,
take you in hand to peel your bulb apart,
Your cloves spring free as thick and waxy as eagle’s talons.
In the kitchen I cut and crush your bite-size payloads;
you are in conspiracy with me
as your true, hot nature is about to be revealed.
You spread through the press with a powerful new altruism,
From the skillet your odor broadcasts your communal intentions,
to make a fragrant, pungent neighborhood of a pot of beans,
or intoxicate through dozens of incisions in a salmon fillet.
You begin your delicious attack quietly
to smooth sticky blood,
Silence the sting of bees and wasps,
Lull black plague to sleep,
You radiate through pots of chicken soup
Or add glow to spoonfuls of mesquite honey
To ward off coughs and colds of working stiffs.
You’re released from what appears to be fragile skin
to wreak your pale but potent havoc
on viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites and war wounds,
on tuberculosis, cancer and even leprosy.
Your raging fire fills with purpose,
builds momentum to clear arteries, clear throats,
clear out crowds with one mighty, sulfuric breath,
the breath that thwarts post-dinner Valentines and after-midnight vampires alike.
Your righteous anger subsides only when two partake of you at the same meal.
Like a tuning fork that matches the pitch of a guitar string,
Garlic gourmands vibrate on the same note, smell sweet,
The food of love not meant to be eaten alone.