Live Luscious

by Charlotte Hamrick

I always chop the olives by hand.

I like a rough chop that says

someone still cares about

the preparation of food instead

of settling for little identically

square bits popped out by a

steel thing attached to a cord

that gives it life.

The knife and I give new life to these

olives; messy, uneven life such

as it is. The earthy texture of the

black and the pungency of the green will

soon mix with onion, pimento and the

special piquant of a home-canned Gardiniera.

Aaron Neville croons "Tell It Like It Is"

in my ear as I chop in time to the beat,

the heft of the knife comfortable in

my hand, the flesh of the olives

relenting to the steel determination

of the blade.