She cooks with salt
harvested from the Dead Sea
by slaves’ calloused, brittle hands,
raining it over beef and lamb,
fingers cold as they press
each grain into sinuous muscle.
Year after year she seasons with
salt alone — sprinkled on meat,
on bread, on parsley, on each edible,
on every plate. Salt tastes in
her family’s communal meals,
to friends visiting, to strangers
entertained. As though salt fills
her own pores, cracking her
knuckles under the sting of
well water, she wrinkles and bends,
her own tears as dense as seawater.
Salt is part of her.