Sam Moe

Mint Winter Egg

Enchanter’s Herb and Datura line the archway above the table. Some of us remark at the algae blooms in the indoor pond, the balcony filled with small silverfish, servers who sidestep each other with ease, we want to let the kitchen know we can cook, too,
we can
withstand the burn and the hum, we have figured out the thrill that comes with a good four-plate carry, though one of us sprained our thumbs but that’s besides the point. We 

are sitting down to dinner and trying not to flirt with each other, this dinner is about
business, this business is about to rewrite the menu, which is almost as thrilling as putting out a good front (or so we like to tell ourselves). Lost in the idea book, our hands smudge ink, write nonsense in the margins. Someone has drawn a smiley face 

next to a recipe for a roux, we notice some of us have dressed up in gold and deep tones, others wear royal blue blazers even though our kitchen colors are green and red, but why not love the sea, why can’t we be multidimensional? We have wants, too, and
and recipes never dared in our wildest dreams. Out back, the kitchen 

prepares our food, someone spills coffee on another server, we understand, we’ve all been there before. Soon someone’s hand finds another’s beneath the table, a new
twists, martinis the color of rivers are half-empty, half-full of blueberries, there are martinis garnished with grey-smoke candy canes and the onion rings are bristling with 

golden crumbs. We are struggling, we miss each other even when we’re in the midst of one collective presence, cold restaurant, many messes, and perhaps a few broken hearts. We don’t call her; she’s told us most days are zombie status and living beyond forty-second street has turned her lungs calloused. But if she’d let us, we’d put up

wreaths, kiss cheeks, do whatever it took, maybe even forgive the fallout from a bad lagoon-deep love. Who knows? Sometimes our knives make awful sounds on the plates, and we still care for each other. When it’s time for dessert, we are enamored
with mint 
chocolate eggs coated in snowflake sugar; we are so tightly woven together we forget 

to go home separately, we head to the executive chef’s house and fall asleep in the living room, chef jackets crumpled in the corner, there are too many blankets, and the heat is 
out of control but at least we’ll all be on time for work the next day. And when daylight arrives, we march to work in slush, we’re very chatty this particular Tuesday. Maybe it’s the love, maybe it’s the winter treats, maybe it’s a rumor that she’s coming
back for

a visit, and we don’t say this out loud, but we wouldn’t be able to stay gone, either. There are dreams we’ll never chase for fear of breaking apart like old dough, and the harder we work, the less it hurts, tears turning into glittering eyeliner as we take turns grieving in the walk-in freezer. Amongst the sorbets and ice-creams are boxes of fresh, unwashed glassware—we press the wine and whiskey glasses to our cheeks to calm the heat, but once we return to the kitchen we remember, and the ache runs deep and wide as a trench.


Sam Moe is the recipient of a 2023 St. Joe Community Foundation Poetry Fellowship from Longleaf Writers Conference. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming from Whale Road ReviewThe Indianapolis ReviewSundog Lit, and others. Her poetry book Heart Weeds is out from Alien Buddha Press and her chapbook Grief Birds is forthcoming from Bullshit Lit in April ’23. Her full-length Cicatrizing the Daughters is forthcoming from FlowerSong Press.

A Song for Sam

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