Perfidy Recipe by Teresa Tulipano

When baking something fluffy like divinity
you always want to allow the eggs to get old first
let them sit out of the fridge for a couple days
Although I am sure there’s a reactive chemical
explanation, I don’t understand the science of it,
but it’s one of the few truths my mother told me

When you live in the tropics, the constant humidity
is always somewhere between ninety and a hundred
percent during the Rainy Season, and drops to a glacial
seventy percent in the Dry Season, which means your
skills get rusty with damp and disuse and you resort to
making canned peach cobblers with Bisquick topping

The bread molds green within the same day it was baked
There is a stream of ants for every single sticky drip
Thumb-sized cockroaches eat holes in parchment paper
Tiny worms in the flour turn into round black beetles;
so you must pay attention, keep your kitchen in order –
don’t trust the maid you pay twenty-five dollars a week

Put your sugar inside the fridge so that it will not fuse together
Use cinnamon at your thresholds to prevent ants from entering
Keep your honey at the ready in case a coqui frog squirts poison
into the mouth or eyes. Pick your mangoes and bananas often, or
risk attracting to your garden the notice of a roaming monkey horde
Pen your dog in at night lest a cougar carry him off into the bush

If the stomach is the way to a man’s heart, is the thigh the path
to his eyes, the hip the map to his lips, the breast the step to his head?
If something is rotting in his kitchen, if the damp is warping his floors, if the
termites trespass his foundation, if the lizards squeeze under his doors,
then he might go hunt in the jungle at night to catch what she may dread
he might return with a bright colored bird to feather the way to his bed

Teresa Tulipano
Teresa Tulipano was born in San Francisco, CA, grew up in England and the Republic of Panama, and she now lives with her dear husband in Brooklyn, NY. Her kitchen windows face Prospect Park, which she appreciates while baking key lime pies and peach cobblers to commune with the spirits of her mom and grandma.