the smell of sweet potatoes


I decided to make lunch today 

pulled out a box of sweet potatoes from the farmer’s market 


on the first cut, my amygdala shudders— 


I am 12 again 

putting orange colored cubes in the oven for the fourth time that week: 

no oil, no salt, 

sweet and healthy, 

nutrient dense and low-calorie, 

delicious and diet friendly. 

the ultimate oxymoron vegetable. 


they smell like earth, 

taste like pulling myself out of the ground 


they cut like watermelon, 

taste like fall breaking through summer 


they hold grit like kitchen tile grout, 

taste like washing the dirt off 


have you ever noticed how sharp 

the blade of a vegetable peeler is? 


how precise it must be to shear off 

just the skin? 


if sweet potatoes could talk, 

I wonder what they would say about the ways we butcher them 

and forget. 


I tried growing them once with my dad 


they were left in the dirt until January, 

we both learned a lesson  

about tending to the things we can’t see rotting 


when I ate only sweet potatoes for dinner, 

no one questioned my taste 

until I walked out of the kitchen 

in a graveyard body, 

and everyone wanted to know what it meant 

when I said 


I just don’t like other foods 


I’ve always been prone to 

putting down roots in places I can’t grow 

or won’t remember to be picked 

it feels like home, 

tastes like every time I had to eat something 


when I pull them out of the oven now, 


they aren’t as sweet as I remember 


b.i.w. is the pin-name of an upcoming online poet/writer. Sole founder and creator of the Instagram page @beauty_in_words._ where she built up her following, her content varies from both short and long poems in both modern and traditional style illustrated by other artists on the platform. Her poems have been published in several print and online publications, including witchesnpink, Dizzie magazine, Twist in Time literary Mag, and spoken word scratch night.