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.