Subtle essences of pork mingling with a touch of soy
piping hot noodles done al dente, a half-egg and liberal
help-yourself condiments of green onions, sprouts, and bamboo shoots
all contained within a porcelain vessel, transmitting naught but heat
implying satisfaction guaranteed in each mouthful of comfort food

Spice a random fluctuation, confluence of East and West
blending in a “eat at your own risk” sauce of jalapeno pepper spray
given to the young and the foolhardy, or those older jaded wise ones
who simply need a kick in pants break from
doldrums of routine into new horizons,
past the haze of quarter-mid-life crisis and into something
that one does not quite hate 

Water, water everywhere, only spreading heat across the tongue
as faces burn with perspiration effort flushes in
valiant attempts to down the cauldron sized bowl servings
in but an inch of time, to power down and drain
to dregs last bits of nourishment and flavorful
bursts of unexpected chashu shavings 

Up go sticks and ladle-spoon to nip and pick at daily fare
tucking ‘way generous miserly bits into esophageal passages
and churning stomach chamber from which growls issue
the hunger pangs of the beast within mirroring without
even as one winces to down the concoction of chili green verde
with a side of special sauce to help the medicine go down

Sigh of satisfaction, last slurps and ending of a meal
quiet contentment and warm glow after titan struggle with gullet
to wrestle down the contents of a porcelain white container,
to chow and munch and swallow all,
and break a fast of many days