Cooking Competition – A poem

The game wraps around,
Plastic and sheer, preserving,
Deflecting freezing burns.
The kitchen is a noise inside
A shell, roaring and kinda ringing, inging, ing.
Angry red skin from the flames,
Scorch marks and soup stains on the apron.
The other chefs keep diving in, dripping
Sweat away from the courses by tilting
Their noses into every configuration,
Proud that the perspiration shows so keenly
Under studio lights.

The temperatures are all wrong, but we compete.
The spices have lost their labels, but we know the routines by heart.
The tools are substandard, but we still strive as if sex
And procreation are on the line.

Well, my sweat dried away hours ago,
Desiccated cold desert the map of my
Brow. I am nerveless and the oven mitts
Are minor comforts.
Sure, the eggs won’t crack themselves,
That cake will not rise without my words
And hands to apply heat.
The assistants resemble the audience
As opposed to serviceable help. And I’m
All out of sriracha.

But, I’ll save this meal, if not to the judges’ palates,
To my own satisfaction. Horrifying self-entertainment,
surprisingly our only possible joy every Saturday night despite
Our steaming opposition to each other.

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