Ode to Olive Oil

You splash onto a searing pan
and sputter, screaming in the heat.
An aroma fills my kitchen
it smells warm,
like bread or a breeze.

You engulf minced garlic
and coerce an intoxicating
scent from within,
our mouths wet with hungry lust.

We are only teased when
our tongues finally dance
over the bread that we break
as a family
drowned in your bold flavor.

An antipasto is served
with thin prosciutto
and thick mozzarella
olives, peppers,
and homemade dressing.

But that did not come easily.
You would not settle
served as a condiment
emulsified with vinegar
you would not cooperate.

So I shook you
and shook you
and shook you
until you surrendered to my recipe.

Bitter beast,
you are relentless,
for you know that you
are necessary
and I will suffer after dinner
when I cannot rinse you away
and you’re on my hands

greasy on my lips
staining my favorite shirt
seeping into
and out of
my pores.

"Garden Maze" © Dr. Regina Valluzzi

“Garden Maze” © Dr. Regina Valluzzi

Rachel Keen is a full time engineering student who enjoys writing poetry to balance out never-ending technical reports. Her recent work is inspired by her own evolution through love, loss, and the passage of time. This is Rachel’s first attempt at publishing her poetry.

Art can illuminate even the most elusive and difficult to comprehend ideas. Visual rules and tightly codified visual metaphors help scientists communicate complex ideas mostly amongst themselves, but they can also become barriers to new ideas and insights. Dr. Regina Valluzzi’s images are abstracted and diverged from the typical rules and symbols of scientific illustration and visualization; they provide an accessible window into the world of science for both scientists and non-scientists.