Recipe for My Valentine’s Day Lunch Special

He tells me his birthday is on Valentine’s Day,
                  and I think it’s some kind of a joke, like how
the female character in Japanese dating sim
                  video games just falls into a relationship
with a Tokyo doctor or the world’s sexiest
                  screenwriter alive, shirt unbuttoned right
on the cover of Entertainment Weekly,
                  or what about the plain and simple, whiskey

on the rocks, hot and cold teacher, and get it
                  girl, ruffle his hair, drive him a little nuts,
push his buttons as we play this simulation
                  of love at first sight on our phones, while
our heroine enters her love interest’s home
                  with its perfect view of Tokyo Tower:
apartment 214, “Just like Valentine’s Day,
                  he says. “So you’ll always remember.”

And isn’t it weird how two fourteen is the same
                  number of syllables as “I love you,” those
three magical words that transport you into
                  this dimension where you’re cooking
bento for your man, but no, aprons are too
                  frilly, too girly—unless you’re shooting
a video, and I’m reminded of slice-of-life
                  anime when the schoolgirls line up

with homemade lunches for their school’s idol,
                  a woman with an alto voice and pixie cut
in gold, on a horse, an ode to female sexuality,
                  and how I love being a girl, how these girls
put so much love into their bento lunches,
                  cutting up mini hot dogs into octopus shapes,
and rice balls into rabbits with seaweed eyes,
                  as their idol passes by on her white horse:

                                                                         I want to make my own
                                                                         karaben (character) bento,
                                                                         buy the freshest strawberries,
                                                                         cutting them into hearts
                                                                         then sprinkling on the sugar.
                                                                         Next, I’ll take mini
                                                                         sausages, cut them in half,
                                                                         fry them in a pan, and let
                                                                         their “legs” open up,
                                                                         and add black sesames
                                                                         for their eyes. Now cook
                                                                         rice and steam broccoli
                                                                         and stamp carrots into
                                                                         butterfly or fish or bunny
                                                                         shapes. Voila! It’s time
                                                                         to wrap this bento up
                                                                         with a bow,

and greet a lover, like how anime girls greet
                  their school’s idol, and they’re so in love
their faces turn kissy, as they offer her more
                  bento, because food is love, and on screen,
the octopus sausages come to life with hearts
                  for eyes and kissy lips and squeals, and if you’re
lucky, the school idol herself will drive you home
                  in her racecar—oh how I love being a girl.