Saturday, April 11, 2009

Deep Purple

are black plums similar to the ovoid duhat but more rounded.
The Bikols have a special way of preparing and enjoying them.

In the Bikol summer
it was a coming together of colors music
light subdued laughter as the siesta hour settled
after the lavish noon meal of rice fish greens the mothers
aunts cousins prepared. Now they awaited the boys from their
sortie into the backyard jungle, bearing those deep purple pearls.
Either they climbed up the tree to pick the fat exquisite bunches, or
they shook down its branches and the black ants fell on their eyes
they had to run to the kitchen to wash off the sting. Now the women

had taken out two concave soup dishes we called them platters because
they were big and they clamped them together and O they’re shaking their
shoulders shaking the firm plums inside: jiggling rattling them in that
low deep drop drop drop drumming between the platters breaking
bleeding blending them tender with grains of white rock salt white
sugar the scarlet juice flowing staining the smooth china inside
now as they laid the platters open on the table we saw death’s
sweet color: we picked and bit and sucked and puckered and
snickered and smeared our fingers lips teeth tongue
heart as the radio played and the afternoon
deepened and the women swooned to the Platters.

Marne L. Kilates
(December 2, 2008)