was i ever not some snot-nosed child?
throat sore, brain sputtering, leaning
into the comfort of your tired arms.
this bar is loud, this patience vast,
the noise so great that it becomes a
new kingdom of quiet.

rolling the milled potatoes and flour against the fork
to make gnocchi, i think about you
giving me form.

simmering sweet tomatoes with butter and bright onion,
i think about the etymology of the word "etiquette"
how every "neutral" fragrance is a choir
of smells singing in perfect desynchronization
with reality's basenote, nulling it.
i think of your red hat,
of your laugh that you are afraid of. of fetishizing
our own weakness. like the delicate pieces
of this simple meal,
finding our soft and scarred texture
better supports the sauce