The Special Dinner

I wanted to cook a great dinner
for you tonight, so I went to the market
and bought armfuls of fresh ingredients:

new herbs and ripe bright vegetables,
oil and wine and fine cuts of meat,
everything I needed to make a meal
for you.

I spent an hour in the kitchen,
I chopped and seasoned and mixed,
I seared and sauteed

and then somewhere between
the asparagus and the tarragon,
the muse put her lush lips against
my ear and seduced me off
to write another poem.
I lost track of time.
I burned everything.

This is what happens
when you are loved by
a poet who plays at being a chef.

Now the house smells of smoke,
of the stinking charred mess
at the bottom of the trash can,
but we’ll open the windows
and order Chinese takeout,

sit on the living room floor
and eat lo mein and egg rolls.
When you open your
fortune cookie, I’ll hope it says

Don’t run. He is a good man
even if he is easily lured away.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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