How to Make a Crab Cake
Start with your own body, the small bones of the hands moving toward the inlets of the fingers. Wanting it too much invites haste. You must love what is raw and hungered for. Think of the crab cake as the ending, as you till away at the meat, digging for errant shells and jagged edges. Always, it’s a matter of guesswork but you hold it together by the simplest of ingredients, for this is how the body learns to be generous, to forgive the flaws inherited and enjoy what lies ahead. Yet you never quite know when it happens, the moment when the lumps transcend egg and breadcrumbs, the quiver of oil in a hot pan, to become unworldly: the manifold of pleasure with the sweet ache of crab still bright on your tongue.
From Underlife (CavanKerry Press, 2009). Copyright © 2009 by January Gill O’Neil. Used with the permission of the author.
January Gill O'Neil
January Gill O’Neil is the author of Misery Islands (CavanKerry Press, 2014), winner of a 2015 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, and Underlife (CavanKerry Press, 2009). She lives in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Date Published: 2009-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/how-make-crab-cake