Swirsky, Rachel: “The Passionate Oven”

The Passionate Oven

by Rachel Swirsky

Mr. Barowicz is a gourmet chef.
His spatula, teasing, stirs milky sauce
agile fingers dipping, tongue darting to lick
sweet, sticky drops. Firmly, he spins
the oven’s knobs, compelling flames to writhe
beneath the grills. His tender mitts ease
hot dishes from the warm, secret cavity
nestled behind the oven’s modest door.

Small wonder the oven has fallen in love
craving to raise his soufflés, fluff
his meringue, brown his meat to firmness.
Mr. Barowicz bends to thrust a dish inside;
the oven’s temperature flares, soaring
high above the number on the dial.
Flames ignite the pastry, consuming it
in passion’s ecstatic, blistering fire.