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Something To Do With Bell Peppers

Something To Do With Bell Peppers

A Poem by MiaIntheSkywithDiamonds

A look at foods, friends, and family.


Daniela teaches me how to cut the red bell peppers�"

Chop off the top and bottom,

Three and a half inches wide, two and a half inches tall,

Then split the skin, rubbing seeds out of the center,

And slice into pieces three-eighths of an inch in length.

The scent makes its way to my olfactory bulb

The way it did in high school,

But it was a little less recognizable then.

Now I learn to attribute it to my father's jeans,

Hitting the floor with a jingle of keys and coins,

Resisting the official that labeled him today

“Field worker” or “ranch manager,”

Instead of Daddy�"

The one who is supposed to hold you when you cry,

Come home to make you grilled cheese sandwiches when you break your wrist�"

But why didn't Jimmy have a daddy?

Now we pile them into the clear, eight-gallon boxes,

Strips of scarlet intertwining with the occasional dot of white,

Sardined together like immigrants in a van,

My father's brown, calloused hands on the wheel,


Unwavering even with an unbuckled seatbelt,

He does not sweat for fear of deportation like the rest of them,

Or deployment, like Robby, who had planned on leaving me for the army from day one anyway.

His parents separated when he was little,

And he came to hate the evil stepmother just like you're supposed to,

Then turned his princess back into a pumpkin,

Lying smashed on the side of the road

With her bright orange innards stuck to someone's tires.

The peppers sizzle in the wok,

Tossed in brown sauce with potatoes, string beans, steak, shrimp,

And the “gracias” escapes my lips,

To which our cook smiles, “de nada.”

School taught me a weak Spanish from youth,

But at home, Mama's “kain na” (let's eat)

Would give me Daddy's big “gozzutza” (butt)

Like Andrew's, bubble, not protruding from, but rounding out

His golden shorts,

And he was the one who hated cheesy things,

Much like me, the big cheddar,

And he never had a father either.

“There's something sweet about you,” Nate says,

Sliding his finger under my chin,

Dark, warm eyes boring into my own.

I don't tell him that my daddy calls me sweetheart,

Because his only calls him when he's sick,

And mine says I love you every morning,

And it's funny

That I smelled bell peppers on him every day,

And have no idea if they're sweet too,

Never having tasted one.

© 2013 MiaIntheSkywithDiamonds

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Added on December 11, 2013
Last Updated on December 11, 2013
Tags: love, bell peppers, father, daddy issues, fathers, life, family, boys



Belmont, CA

College student here, hit me up if you need to talk or anything else. I have a sincere love for life. I can get crazy, I can go downhill in a hurry, but when it comes down to it, life is a truly b.. more..