Somborka

The smell of charred peppers fills the room

 

It was the end of a sweet summer and

She had already pickled all the vegetables she needed for the winter

All the peppers, washed and cored

Cauliflower, cucumbers, carrots

Put in a giant barrel

Wrapped in blankets and left to sit

Out on the balcony for the winter to come

All that was left was a single bag of peppers

She carefully washed each pepper

Set them on a pan

And placed them in the oven

 

Somborka

The smell of somborka slowly filled the room

Overwhelming my senses

Bringing me back home

Again and again

I keep going back home

To smell the peppers

Why do I keep going back home?

Why do I want to go back home?

Why do I need to go back home?

For the smell of baked peppers

The warmth of newly knitted socks

The nasty looks whenever I walk down the street

Heart skips a beat every time they call me by the wrong name

 

My rise to fame was something I had no control over

Feel my knees tremor and my stomach twist

When they talk about me in ways I once desired

They’ve drawn a fine line between what is good

 

And what is me

And I shave my head 

In rage

So there is no hair left to pull out

In rage

In despair

So they can no longer describe me in that way

I paint my skin

And change 

Everything 

About everything they thought they knew

 

But I still go home

To the smell of somborka

The sight of her pulling them out of a scorching oven

Leaving them to rest

Carefully peeling them

Hot oil in a frying pan

The smell of fried peppers fills the air

I go home

To everything I once craved and desired

Four weeks of nothingness in exchange for a taste of what was once everything

The taste of all I once knew

The taste of somborka

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My family

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