Breakfast: A Cultural Appropriation

8 a.m. Tom Kah Thai Coconut soup
A breakfast pleasure I feel guilty over
Because I’m a white American

I swallow
Warmth descends, waking me from the inside

Between spoonfuls, I remove chunks of galangal and lemongrass from the hot liquid
Remembering the first time when
I chopped the lemongrass as fine as a chive garnish

I didn’t know lemongrass was like bay leaves
A plant that gives its essence freely, but shouldn’t be consumed

That time, I’d tried to save the soup
Painstakingly fishing out tiny bits of sharp stem
But they were still there, invisible to me

Until I swallowed and they stabbed
Making their presence known from the inside

Now I know better
I leave the lemongrass in easily identifiable chunks
And I still make and eat the soup
Me: A white American

I listen to the news while I slurp, thinking
Do I want to be woke?


One thought on “Breakfast: A Cultural Appropriation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *