Plump, white oval grains of
Steamed sticky rice cling together
In the dish, round wooden handai,
Full like a waiting moon.
Fold in rice vinegar, salty-sweet.
Fan the scented clouds of steam.
Take the rice to the nori
Seaweed, dark sheet paper-thin.
Deep red tuna, scallions join,
Enclosed as in a wave,
And sliced into circles, with
Wet-bright pebble centers.
Tuna roll—Tekka Maki.
Warm fragrance of
Peaceful green tea.
Pink, pickled ginger smells sweet,
A patient rose.
Soy sauce, brown as polished driftwood,
Singed by fiery
Chopsticks lift the sushi,
Skim the soy sauce.
Bring the round taste
Of rice, of saltspray, of the sea
Home to my mouth,
Edged with a sharp sinus sting.
Image credit: "Happy Sushi," pastel on sanded paper, by Susan Jenkins, 2009 (originally color).