When there was a match or game on tv
he'd hum and grunt the rest of the world away.
He used the play the game, until he broke his arm
he used to wrestle too, until he broke the other.
He had these hands that split apart fruit like a knife
the scent of garlic bled from his finger trails
and his breath often smelled of apples and oranges.
He dropped out of school
for a revolution in his homeland
and even there he cooked.
When he'd sing, I'd pretend I wasn't listening
so his voice would carry on
it rose from his throat
like a sushi roll of emotive flavors.
Food was his gift to the world, he wore burns
on his arms like a woman wears bangles.
I'd watch him handle steaming plates and pans
like an athlete hones an impossible deke
or a wrestler perfects a single leg take down.