Aran. (County Clare, Ireland)

I break the loaf in my hands. Steam swirls. The bread turns to meal in my mouth, then the meal to earth and the earth to rain - cold rain, smoky, sweet, like the wheat fields in June when the soil is kneaded red-black and the grain is strummed by, spun by rain into gold. One taste and, summer or winter the same, the mind turns on its own axis and you find yourself thinking of beginning again. The wind stirs the curtain, crosses the room, the brown bread grows full in my mouth, the tongue draws back, tired, certain, and I am consumed. (Aran is Gaelic for bread.)

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