To Jacques Pépin
With your impeccably clean hands.
Go ahead: Say beutter, instead of butter.
I can take it.
I love your rhapsodies of oil.
You are hypnotic as you pat
a chicken’s rump with your right hand, swirl
your ruby glass in the left.
For a Frenchman,
you are remarkably open
to wines vented by Californians.
I never intended any innuendo,
but I dream of being food in your kitchen.
Every night I become a perfect tomato,
a parcel of pastry, crimped and tender.
Give me away in a frock of parchment paper. Fold
me in. Slick me with a little clarified gold.