When I pass you in the sands,
I wonder if you are four leaf clover waiting to sprout its chaturthi wing.
But you are more oblong, striated, and decidedly delicious.
Really you are a perfected troika; your leaves boast the divine number of Guru.
And your gifts count many more.
Some of your kin produce nearly desertly, prickled blooms
and I think of rubbing you upon skins of willing bunnies and surprised humans
just for the sensation.
From our Maharashtrian friends,
I’ve heard that you can expand yourselves into crunchy tadpoles and go by the succulent name samudra methi-
if given enough time and hydration.
Maybe I could transform like that one day too …
You’ve become a regular feature in my life.
I put your hard kernelled bodies in bubbling waters each night without fail whether at home, in India or Californ-i-a.
While I go into the deep death of sleep, you do your magic.
So I awaken to your puffed up and no longer bitter selves,
prepared for gnawing and swallowing
after the first blinks and invocations of the predawn state.
You are my only medicine.
Strangers don’t understand; but they unwittingly admit that I smell good, what must I be wearing??
I just smile and say it must be the incense.
My lover knows better and reminds me that my very essence has been infused by that delicate and sweet,
and just yesterday proclaimed: “You ARE fenugreek!!”
My dear methi…
Every time I receive a book in Sanskrit,
I swear it smells like you!! I just can’t get away.
Though you arose in the East, the Mediterranean, some will say Turkey
India has become your primary parent.
From four thousand years ago, they offered you in exchange.
The Greeks and Romans eventually followed suit.
Egyptians burned you and even embalmed their notorious mummies with you.
Made coffee and medicine of you.
You’ve been consumed by balding men and harem ladies alike.
Travelled to the great European empire by way of Benedictine monks
and given quite a name by Charlemagne himself!
You tighten our bowels, ease our sprains,
send prameha for a six, and rebuild our coronary walls.
You help nursing mothers produce their darlings’ nourishment;
and warn pregnant ones to steer clear-
as you are oh-so-powerful in the uterine department!!
For the rest of us women though,
you make us vital and buoyant downstairs.
You’ve infused our breads, our sex, our cultures,
eased our pains and make our digestion complete.
Dear methi… thank you for your existence.
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