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The Recipe

Alan King

after Yehuda Amichai

A woman will prepare an ideal man
out of all she desires: the hair
she took from a man who held the door for her
at a deli, the forehead from a bartender
who doesn't have to ask her favorite drink, the hands
from a construction worker who smiles like a child
when every morning she walks by is cake and candles,
the cheeks from an uncle who told her stories as a girl,
the mouth from a man she sees on her train rides home,
the thighs from a track and field star on TV who’s won gold medals
for the U.S. and who she's convinced she loves, the sleepy
inviting gaze from this one, the eyes from that one,
the stone-shaped abs from her Tae Kwon Do instructor.
All of this she lays out, as if cooking a lavish feast
of several servings she plans to enjoy
over and over. From all this
she will put together what she loves,
unable to place the missing ingredient
until what's prepared
opens its mouth to speak.

Alan King

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