Dirty ramen

It’s impossible to act like a princess

when you’re eating ramen.

I pull apart these stubborn chopsticks,

and watch the wood splinter,

like lovers scorned they leap apart

and drown in an oil-soaked, soupy bath

where mushrooms bob up and down

like caramel apples and

bamboo shoots cling to beansprouts

for dear life.

My lips are smothered in broth

napkin smudge-ridden, turning from white to brown

I slurp back sinewy noodles

knotted and silky, drenched in stew

and feel the sauce ooze down my chin.

Teeth no doubt stained

face no doubt smudged

mouth no doubt dyed with soy sauce.

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