Sweetness & Lightning by Seán Griffin


Sweetness & Lightning

for Gido Amagakure


Homemade Dry Curry

(recipe from mom)


1. separate ingredients into two groups: grief & life, to be minced & cubed respectively. the vegetables will take on the curry flavor; your daughter won’t taste bitterness from the green peppers or questions like if her mother is in heaven or hell


2. heat vegetable oil in a pot, then fry garlic & ginger. once warm, they become fragrant. add onions. add those who were there when you salted your black tie with tears & wished it was you instead. add someone who can teach you something new. you can make your daughter laugh too, dance in the kitchen, & chant spells for carrot, celery, & eggplant to cook

3. add pork & once that’s ready, & once you’re ready, add curry, add salt, add because when we lose, we want seconds, we want to take gulps of empty till we’re full of it, till we only have the aftertaste of memories

4. add diced tomatoes; let it boil to condense; let yourself boil with reason to move to the next step. add grated apple, raisins, let the dish have some sweetness

5. take some of the curry out to serve your daughter before you add garam masala for your preferred level of spiciness. let her have the meal. she doesn’t yet need a hard-to-swallow burn as soon as the taste leaves her

6. serve with friends. take a bit of glossy onion with your daughter & remember her mother



Seán Griffin





Seán Griffin received an MFA in Creative Writing from Manhattanville College. Seán's writing has appeared in The Southampton Review, Selcouth Station Press, Impossible Archetype, Cathexis Northwest Press, with poetry in The Mud Season Review, Sonic Boom, and The Hellebore forthcoming. Seán teaches writing at Concordia College of New York, is an editor for Inkwell Literary Journal, and lives in New York with three dogs. You can find him on Twitter @SeanGrifter and at Instagram @seangrifter .



About This Poem

"This recipe is a response to the manga series of the same name. I tried to situate aspects of cooking as a creative, communal process, as well as a space to grieve."



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