Olivia McMahon

An Indonesian, a Thai and a Bangladeshi
in my Western kitchen.
How do you cook rice in your countries? I ask.

They do not throw away the water
as we do here; they all agree.
They put in just enough above the rice.
— The length of the index finger.
— No, the first section of the middle finger.
— No, the first two sections.

They are not clear about the details.
They will write home:
Dearest mother, I am missing you.
Please send precise instructions
for cooking rice.