The kitchen distills their self-esteem
as culinary ambitions whip up some dust

in the connubial air. Of the several
fantasias arranged by them on argent platters,

none seems so poignant as that which blooms
solo in the moonlight, an aromatic nocturne

crowned with stars. Nightly he expands in ardent pursuit
of the true harmonics of maritime soup,

leaving scant room for her, land-locked and full
of pride, to gather the petals

she needs for her salad, to exercise
her shapely designs on bitter foliage

and evening fruit. It doesn’t seem to matter.
Under the everyday moon, their eyes

seldom lock. Nor do they follow the proper
receipts for a fine and fragrant marriage.

Nevertheless, they noddle along, improvise,
ornament their inventions, they think, where they must.

There is no heaven here for him or her,
for anyone who simmers in the muted

light of delight diluted by small
but nightly disappointments. But one hopes

that doesn’t matter either. For the moment
we will contemplate the many and musical

variations conceivable given an open mind or two,
a little room, and a very fine cabbage.

Sidney Wade

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 11 Number 6, on page 42
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