Ode to a Kale Salad — Rachel van Aalst

After all I did for you—

removing your spine,

massaging all your rigid limbs—

I thought I would be disappointed.


The truth is you’re exquisite,

but you’re over-dressed—

glittering to impress

in this unexpected summer-autumn

when we’re going to a cook-out.

With strawberry on your lips

and bitter mustard on your tongue,

you stand aloof and refined

between the hotdogs and the chips.


In all the sun, your now-supple skin

is oily to the touch.

You leave an aftertaste of olive

with all your acquaintances,

as if you met on some Grecian island,

fell in love over the honey in each other’s voices,

and had to catch the first plane out in the morning.