Fiona Larkin


Lotus Garden

In a shifting drift
of regulars and strangers,
in a passing place
of daily alchemy,
a cook is orchestrating
a fivefold composition:

a stirring of the tastebuds,
a flavour carousel,
a virtuoso matching
of salt and sour-sweet,
piquant in the top note,
a bitter undertow.

Rooted in his kitchen,
he primes the appetite
with a million small collisions –
braised, fermented, smoked –
inducing chilli tears
with elements of heat.

This couple will remember
the unions he invents.
She glances from the stairwell,
one glance, and he is falling,
it feels like recognition:
umami on their tongues.




Fiona Larkin is studying for her MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway. Poems have appeared in journals including Ink Sweat & Tears, And Other Poems, Envoi, and South Bank Poetry, and are forthcoming in The North, Southword and The High Window.

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