Kusa Mahshi

By | 15 September 2022

Spending the afternoon hallowing out the inside of a zucchini,
Piercing its jaundice flesh
Calling it by its name
Telling it, “It’s time to leave your home, what you were born into.”

“It’s time to make room for
Something else,
Something that you couldn’t be.”

Both her hands are occupied but she holds each item differently.
The zucchini with grace,
Somewhere between tenderness and violence, and
The stuffing tool with a calm hostility,
An awareness that using too much force would leave the zucchini
An opening between what is hidden and what is exposed.

What this would cause is an unwanted merge between
Its stuffing: rice and minced meat coated in Lebanese seven spice,
And what it cooks in
A maraq.

How can I expect to appreciate anything outside of this?

How I have never understood the purpose of my mother preparing such a tedious meal,
One that requires more sabar than the farmer who grows the zucchini
And more precocious than the machine that produced the pot for the kusa mahsi to simmer in.

How her assembling the
Kusa mahsi on the dinner table can be likened to
Curating a museum.

Art can be found in the passing down of a recipe that has
Endured through
Migration and

There is room for your food.

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