Another Titanic
Another Titanic, now a pot.
Built, 1911, in Southampton.
Twenty-two knot, a passenger liner, over
two thousand aboard on her voyage.
Dismantled the year I married, and now
turned into a toaster, a teakettle, a Chinese wok, and
a Korean pressure cooker.
A grand beast, wounded all over.
A retired captain, still unfit for life on land.
Though nothing but a rice pot,
trouble persists.
Uninspired to cook, I called the pressure-cooker company to complain:
Why does it leak steam?
How many tons of rice have I rinsed? Rising at dawn, rinsing rice,
setting the table, rinsing rice again, scrubbing pots, polishing
spoons, scrubbing the bathroom, rinse, rinse, rice, rice. Scraping
chicken fat off its belly, rinsing rice, taking out fish guts, chopping
scallions, rinse, rice, rinse, rice. A ship afloat on the infinite ocean,
“Another Titanic” brand rice cooker: Is this really my voyage?
Replay, replay, replay
. “Another Titanic”, a Korean rice cooker at anchor in my house.
Wretched thing never left the kitchen.
Sick of cooking.
Fed up with doing dishes.
What else would you rather do?
the pot asked.
I’d eat, wipe my mouth, and slip out like a snake,
I answered.
As flames surround the pot like light pouring from a movie projector, the waves simmer.
When the ship collides with the iceberg, white as a movie screen,
my day’s apparition sinks into the night ocean.
A thousand rooms, lit up under the water,
whirling like a film reel.
With a slow fadeout,
she who became the rice pot soon
vaporizes in the seething white wave with movie stars and extras.
Named “Another Titanic”
built by the White Star Shipbuilding Company,
wandering in the kitchen four thousand meters down
letting scarlet rust seep into the deep green ocean.