#7    Quail in Rose Petal Sauce
        "To all my lovers"

1 lemon, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
8 quails, whole
ground black pepper
red rose petals to decorate

Rose Petal Sauce
petals of 12 red fragrant roses
2 sweet plums, seedless and diced
12 chestnuts
1 cup water
15g butter
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 tbsp honey

To make room for you, my little secret undresses. Unbuttoning the breast coat, I brush the place where my skin hurt before the bee stung. An acid taste on my anxious tongue. I use the outline of your lips as a rope to bind myself and your dark eyes leaving ground black pepper dots all over me, gilding.

Pluck each petal of this fascinating armour. Each so pretty, so brittle, falling down like a collapsed building or a scorned lover's tears, dissolving in a plum satin bed. That cross on your neck doesn't mean anything at all. Watch it crack open under the feeding flame.

Your silence has the sound of boiling water. One by one your sins are redeemed of carelessness and denial, drained and skinned, avoiding my gaze. I will give you more water in bed. Absorbed in your chest, blending well with my own scorned lover tears.

My better plan for tonight melts over a medium heat. The diced garlic sizzles, jumps around, revealing a game of smells that never lasts, steals away. You have never stopped stirring me. My flaws are not roses and honey but I keep to carry them in bunches and combs.

Place the quails on a tray, cover with the sauce and decorate with petals.