Borges thought the essence of the spiritual, the intemporal, lives outside our ability to articulate. Words are a shoddy substitute. Bread and water for flesh and blood are much finer manifestations of the metaphor than mere conversation and text. Take the host in your mouth, swallow the sip of red wine—experience ecstasy more powerful than any book can illuminate. Taste the flesh of the mango—so seductive when you peel off its raiment, the golden color with a divine kiss of explosive bliss on top of the tongue. Taste too, the unfrosted flesh of the persimmon, how it sours your mouth and draws it tight like the squeeze of a chastity belt—so bitter the taste of alum. The way they hang on the tree, persimmons, pendulous in the misty mornings, their sere nude branches like delicate etchings of monasterial black on gray. Consider the way the slaughtered steer’s carcass hangs from its hook in the cooler. Marbled muscular back and flanks, legs without feet—crucified for the sake of survival, and yes, for taste, rare beef with garlic mashed potatoes. Add in some steamed asparagus, a plate of creamy golden polenta with bacon bits, butter and cheese—melts upon your taste buds—manna, of sorts, but not the kind found in the desert after wandering. Something more existent in the here and now, something elegant, and served on a white plate with delicate gold and blue etchings, approaching the sanctity of man and his art, something allegorical, like a painting by Andrea Del Sarto or Pieter Pawel Rubens—naked cherubs with breasts like ripe wild cherries—or the newborn Christ with skin like fresh cream. Imagine a bone white bowl of wild cherries in crème fraiche, the dense obliging ecstasy of sacrifice reduced to a treat on the tongue.
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