Cook’s Perks

My half of our kitchen goes
with me when I leave.

I keep the good vanilla.
You keep the root-bound tabasco.

You get the water smoker.
I get the five-quart Le Creuset.

I eat the tomato pulp you never
wanted: salted, seeded, olive-oiled,

it slithers down my throat
like summer’s own warm tongue.

The batter was always yours;
today I scrape down the bowl, scour it

for any dark and lingering sweetness,
swallow the uncooked eggs, tempt

fate. You gobbled the fruits of my labor
so now I take my cut: a few toasted nuts,

dusty chocolate shavings, raw dough,
peppered potato ends. I glean what

I can eke from whatever’s left.
You see a picked carcass; I see the heft

of sweet and tender chicken oysters
tucked near the backbone. I take them, too.

In French they’re called le sot-l’y-laisse,
which translates “only the fool leaves it.”

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