For best results,
serve them in the middle of the night--
wake your guests from their claustrophobic nightmares
with the ringing of small bells.
Offer relishes, garnishes,
cold water from a cistern,
and, if necessary,
warm illumination from shattered lantern glass and kerosene.
None of this will make you miss her any less.
None of this will make you forget how her long black hair felt
wrapped around your fingers or
trailing slowly across your breasts.
It is too much to ask of a juniper berry to restore sweet skin
where you are now nothing more than ropey white waste from old burns.
However, when you withdraw from the panic-scented chambers
where your offered dish has been refused,
you may then feel free to retire.
Go moan into a backwards wind,
imagining feathers the color of her hair.
Capitulate to a nest of new misery
and an egg to enter
like a hard beak-shell that will presently vomit you,