The ingredients are simple.
Blend the butter and the eggs and the vanilla and white sugar and the brown. The flour and the salt. The baking soda, the baking powder.
The chocolate chips.
You use your hands perhaps, the way your mother did-elbow deep in a silver bowl as big as the table. Her wedding ring, gold, sitting on the baker’s rack behind her. Your father a presence but not present for the baking.
Only the eating.
Only the tasting.
You bake cookies with your friends on cold nights in Cleveland to pass the hours and learn about each other without having to watch one another’s eyes.
You bake cookies in New York to make it feel like Christmas even though you are alone, standing tiptoe on the window ledge; trying to hang a garland of lights with no spotter to make sure you don’t fall backwards.
You bake cookies in the heat of July to make the dog stop barking. You offer her bites without chocolate chips and she takes them daintily. You hope this may mean you can be friends.
You bake to warn away loneliness. To call loved ones to the table. To try and go back in time when you ate as many as you wanted.
Love is not much different. The ingredients are simple. Respect and admiration, loyalty, friendship and support. Desire, passion, care, compassion. Empathy. Joy.
You use your hands perhaps. And you keep baking your heart, batch after batch of yourself, offering everything you have up to the gods-of-forever and coming back with an empty plate time after time.
They take. You bake.
You come back. You bake.
They take. You come back.
You bake.
You soften yourself like butter. Spreadable and humid.
You blend the flour of knowledge with the salt of wisdom.
You pour in the vanilla of your good sense.
You crack the hard shell of your fear and ooze like eggs into the Batter of trying again.
You shake in chocolate chips-a consistent giggle. A secret perhaps only you know.
You are both brown and white sugar- earthy and sparkling. Useful to make a hard day sweeter, necessary for moments of joy.
You arrange the plate-you offer it up. You cross your fingers that the ingredients, though simple, will be accepted. And that in return for the whole table of what you are-you will receive a new recipe.
One made of two.
Double the joy, half the sorrow.
Even if the ingredients are simple.

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