A Book Lover’s Synesthesia

My favorite books fill my mouth.

Lolita is Tang and crème brûlée, America and Old Europe duking it out on the tongue.

The Street of Crocodiles, by Bruno Schulz, consumes things not meant to be eaten: exotic birds, predators nearly extinct.

Love in the Time of Cholera is eggplant, of course—lost love as real, regal, and bitter as aubergines.

Nightwood is darkest chocolate, kept in a Joseph Cornell box chilled by Marie Taglioni’s ice cubes.

Don Quixote’s fanciful avocado dish should be downed with xocolati.

Absalom, Absalom piques with warm biscuits, blue cheese, and a strangling shot of absinthe.

The Tale of Genji is a meal parceled into small, exquisite servings, a tray of intricate delights.

The Alexandrian Quartet’s bloody steak demands to be inhaled along with Chateau Margaux, while the diner drops her veils.

Proust can only be strawberries soaked in ether.

The Dream of the Red Chamber is pungent soup served by an acrobat in a jeweled, crimson bowl.

As they say in Japan, gochisō sama deshita—I have been feasted. And I have, ever since I learned to read.

Copyright © Cynthia Gralla, 2018