Our Chef Is Delicious

                                       When we first found him,
he was a poor creature who couldn't handle a paring knife,
             but that year in Tuscany did him well.

                                       He returned a devout palate.

A man of peculiar desire.
             Please note, he must be garnished with mint;

                                      chop finely, so, when rare, the meat bathes
                                      the cut leaf.

It was a long day when our chef committed himself
             to the fineries of flesh—

                                      the first drop of blood crowned the shaved

the bouillabaisse thickened.
             Loving the body for the body alone is bitter.

                                      He knew this, yes. He always thought parsley

the sprig of amateurs. At high temperatures
             his flesh will emit a faint, distinguished odor,

                                      but this is common

for roasts of his nature. Add Chianti just after the boil.
             That his lips were cracked with salt is no cause for concern—

                                      thirst is

the first measure of longing.
             Open this. Breathe a short while before we eat.

Copyright © 2007 by David Welch. “Our Chef Is Delicious” originally appeared in Pleiades. Used with permission of the author.