Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I often look at Sam and say, "Let's feast!" and then spend dayss planning the perfect menu. People ask me occassionally why I would go through the trouble to cook something fancy for just the two of us. But I cannot imagine cooking for a large number of people. For me, it's not about how many can enjoy the meal, or to what great extravangance I can go to -- it's about a gift I can give.

The care I can take to make sure it's right, perfect, delicious. Not for twenty, but for two. It's about feeding him. Taking care. Sustaining, simply, our lives. Sustaining this moment in time. Savoring, relishing - not just the meal but now. Here. Where we are. Scents evoke memory like little else. Meals pivot occassions.

Let me take an hour or two to give you a precious sequence of time. Because so much hurries us on our way. This is my chance to slow time for the two of us . . . whenever wherever we are. So that when we return to our lives, our races, our harried days - we have the whisp of this meal to follow back.

"Perhaps you'll tire of me," muses
my love, although she's like a great city
to me, or a park that finds new
ways to wear each flounce of light
and investiture of weather.
Soil doesn't tire of rain, I think,

but I know what she fears: plans warp,
planes explode, topsoil gets peeled away
by floods. And worse than what we can't
control is what we could; those drab
scuttled marriages we shed so
gratefully may auger we're on our owns

for good reason. "Hi, honey," chirps Dread
when I come through the door; "you're home."
Experience is a great teacher
of the value of experience,
its claustrophobic prudence,
its gloomy name-the-disasters-

in-advance charisma. Listen,
my wary one, it's far too late
to unlove each other. Instead let's cook
something elaborate and not
invite anyone to share it but eat it
all up very very slowly.

- by William Matthews, After All: Last Poems (Mariner Books, 2000)

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