A friend, a chef,
uses the same secret ingredient
in anything they make, and all they make
are acclaimed masterpieces.
Naturally, they have told no one what they use
and just as naturally we try to guess,
as much for the game of it
as for the gossip or theft
since no one believes that using any one substance
is all it would take to replicate any of their dishes.
We suspect they are in fact
using some magic for their results
as opposed to a tangible spice for what else could explain
the signature spell of their food
from first course to last bite of dessert?
I will not say we are transformed by it,
instead will say we are transported.
So we needle and wheedle and bug them: tell us,
we say. Don’t try to laugh it off and say
it’s all about the love, either; we can tell it’s more.
We know esoteric when we taste it. This is
esoterica. You got your hands on something
and we will leave you to your own use of it
once we too have it on our hands,
even if it’s blood. So tell us. All we want
is the flavor. If it demands a sacrifice or a torture
we already know you took that pain, and thank you
for that — but it’s over. Why should anyone else suffer?