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Destiny O. Birdsong

Destiny O. Birdsong is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, The Cambridge Companion to Transnational American Literature, storySouth, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA and her PhD from Vanderbilt University, and her debut poetry collection, Negotiations, is forthcoming from Tin House Books in October 2020.

Build Back a Body

Just a few days before beginning to shelter in place during the coronavirus pandemic this spring, I learned about the Korean concept of son mat, which means “the taste of one’s hands.” It’s the complex network of preferences, training, familial traditions, and tendencies (I’m heavy on the salt) that make one’s food taste unlike anyone else’s.