You built your own table, the bare boards exposed.
By yourself, you kept the top clean, marble smooth. What’s more,
you prepared for this dinner, you measured your sauces in stone
sake saucers, speckled with pinches of thyme and flicked sage.
You knew your spices. But, because you were a man,
you could fixate on broccoli, obsess over olives and limes.
Around you, steam blossomed and rose. Red wine swirled in a glass
the shape of a pear. Bulbous eggplants, recumbent inside a wire basket—
they spoke of your deep understanding, the way your dishes did not stack,
and there was no space for a layered dessert, no sense in a soft conversation.
As small, pensive sages, we sat instead, our legs crossed
on your vintage-style cushions; the smell was unnaturally new.
When the speed on the turntable surged, and then fell, you called that sound
“flutter,” the fast form of wow. In the midnight moonlight,
I saw your spoon shake as I reached for more lamb.
Fork tines scraped my teeth. Could you hear me swallow?