Skip to main content

Kitchen Romance, a poem by Bethany Brengan

Kitchen Romance

Leave the dozen roses
to their cellophane sleeve. Bring me instead a bouquet

of late summer produce:
the folded hands of the last
lettuce leaves; the vintage
tomatoes blushing purple,
yellow, oranges at even the hint of sauce.
Let lemon cukes roll joyous
in the bushel basket, carousing
with potatoes the size
of solstice hail. Turn your head, but watch
from the corner of your eye

as the zucchini and yellow squash
neck like geese. Tuck in tomatillos to await
my fingers divesting them of their paper-
lantern jackets. Serve me strawberries
by the bleeding handful, and I will fill your
mouth with blackberries from a handkerchief
stained beyond salvation.
Whisper every unspeakable
unspoken that is the Vidalia. 
And let fan the jungle stalks of rainbow
chard, not cooling this mad air of August,
but stirring it everywhere about.

Bethany Brengan’s poetry has appeared in various publications, including Contemporary Verse 2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing, The Hollins Critic, The 2015 Poet’s Market, The Gordon Square Review, and Claw & Blossom. She is an Indiana Wesleyan University graduate who now splits her time between the breath-taking Olympic Peninsula and the bowels of the internet. She is also a contributor to Dick Grayson, Boy Wonder: Scholars and Creators on 75 Years of Robin, Nightwing, and Batman (McFarland Publishing). She can be found at and