A BIT ON THE SIDE
Imported cheeses aged to perfection hung like golden lanterns suspended overhead. A ceramic gondola filled with salty olives, crusted bread, and hot peppers – a portal to his homeland. Dried meats, the connective tissue strung alongside the cheese, draped the restaurant’s ceiling. A marriage held together by its string, once as sweet as an anisette cookie. Family recipes proudly prepared and served up fresh daily. His family crest worn upon his apron, but as far as the secret ingredients went, his wife held the key. A gentleman, a new regular, sat solo at a table reserved for two. His appetite ravenous, he devoured what was put in front of him. Savored every bite. The chef’s thoughts simmered, as he served the gentlemen’s meal perfectly seasoned on a bitter plate of broccoli rabe. The gentleman desired the chef’s secrets. A taste he wanted to make his own. He made his gratitude evident and the chef served him seconds.
Cheryl Vargas is a poet from New Jersey. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Tiferet, Exit 13, Ponder Savant, The Raconteur Review, and Lion and Lilac Arts. She is also an associate editor at Ran Off With the Star Bassoon.