I Don’t Buy Basil Anymore

I don’t buy basil anymore.
Not bearing to see the leaves tethered to their fibrous stems
Laying flat, maybe secure, probably imprisoned
In the plastic clamshell
Maybe a haven, probably a coffin.

I don’t buy basil anymore
My eyes too weak against the tear gas of its scent.
Scorching summer afternoons
Thorny zucchini branches.
Mosquitos. Sunscreen.
Tomato sauce toeing a line between
sweet and bitter.
Magic and alchemy.
An elusive impermanence.

I don’t buy basil anymore
Because she’s not here anymore
Adjusting her eyeglasses as they slowly slide down her nose
A flurry of herbs cascading into the sauce.

I don’t buy basil anymore
Not able to articulate the fury of grief
Rounding the corner and roaring to a halt at my tear ducts.
My vision blurring as I focus on the pools of olive oil floating on top
A sign, she once taught me, that it’s done.
Complete.

Ready for basil.

But I don’t buy basil anymore.

NYC-based writer with an appetite for all things French. Focused (primarily) on the intersection of food, culture, & identity. https://jacquelinebparisi.com/

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