I made it just for you, he says. 

He heated it on the stovetop, 
added the good, strong pepper-
Until the soup had character. 

Black pepper is good for sickness, he says. 

He stirred in purple basil
the last little leaves from last year’s garden-
zest from the rind of the sun.

So you can grow stronger too, he says. 

when he presses the mug into my shaky hands
nestles a kiss against my sweaty forehead,
he doesn’t have to say anything at all.

And he does so anyways.