A recipe has no soul, soul food comes from the heart.Anonymous
New York Sonnets
by Stacie Cassarino
The months have not left us, living apart
from city to treeline, how do we speak
tenderly or not speak at all, the heart
has many winters, the earth cannot keep
us still. In my dreams I touched you every-
where with my lips, and lost my feet in snow
fields, and told you a story of safety
on Snake Mountain. Now, you seem far, you know
where words fail to sound, you know we choose wrong,
sometimes, and look away. The mind paces
in its beautiful error. We belong
near to each other, like this, our faces
assigned to see again. My love, the air
grows around us, the body wakes, come here
I enjoy my kitchen. It is impractical, generally cold, no work space to speak of and by most cooks standards uninviting. It’s not about what it isn’t, its about what it is. It is painted a sparkling bright tangerine, a color I most appreciate at 5:30 am throughout the winter when it is dark for the hour I sip my coffee while reading and writing. It is like my own personal sunrise. I have hung a vintage chandelier that is my favorite light fixture in the history of lighting over the small antique round oak table. It is truly one of a kind, a work of art, from the earliest onset of electric lighting when it still was something magical and to be constructed with elegance. It has a peacock theme in brass in its simple infrastructure, but I pretend they are blue herons, which in summer I can see from my kitchen window some mornings.
I am never alone in the kitchen. There is always at least one of the two dogs or the cat keeping me company, demanding my attention after their breakfasts are served. They each have their own way of not taking no for an answer. A nudge from a nose on my elbow timed perfectly to make me loose my train of thought, one of them leaning into my leg while I type, a slow stroll across my keyboard or a sly soft claw in my thigh, all of these done with genuine humor and a smile upon on their furry faces. They don’t approve of my poetry addiction and consider it impolite that I insist on my indulgence most mornings until each has had sufficient pets.
I wonder if we could measure in the history of poetry, what percentage of poems have been written in the kitchen? At least what percentage of good poems or great poems have been written in the kitchen? I am guessing it tops the list of all places one can possibly imagine to write. The kitchen is where most of creation has been created. Food has always been an important way lovers connect, the courting process can begin with something as simple as a bowl of soup or a cup of tea. A man or woman knows the earliest onset of intimacy often begins by being invited into the others kitchen, particularly a messy kitchen. Sex is messy. So is cooking. So are relationships. If one can’t deal with a bit of a mess and clean up afterwards, then you are likely going to wind up eating that bowl of soup alone.