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76 Gammelfleisch Literally,“spoiled meat.” Also used by German youth as slang for people over thirty. I throw armfuls of plant flesh to the pot. The top of an old leek grown an unpromising green, a soft tomato with a thyme spear stuck through its mush gullet, handfuls of parsley I thought I might use, tips now gone off. Salt I can buy for a dollar per pound but cannot use more than a pinch at a time. It is a stinginess of minerals in an afternoon of ripe oversupply—concentric circles in onion space spinning down to a center point, carrot starch that sleeps itself into sugar. Tepid water spins bubbles at the tap, drowns the stockpot’s sides. Root bulbs float their tapered ends, the sprout tips sacrificed to the warming copper on a hob. For hours I walk the house, nose working the air, waiting for the stock to forgive my wastage. Brown seeps from leaves, bittering the stew, its odor like a small death. I wait for the slow color to spread, for garlic tips to lose rough husks with incremental heat at the pot, for the alchemical swell of yellow to come. ...


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