Because it starts with a small white flower
in the Theobroma cacao tree
whose name means “food for the gods.”
Because chocolate is old and well-traveled,
and cocoa beans were used as currency
by the Aztecs.
Because it comes from the plumed serpent,
Quetzalcoatl, a god cast away
for sharing chocolate with humans,
and shelling the cocoa beans from the pod
mimics removing human hearts
Because it’s fermented, roasted, and bitter,
and, like life, can cover surprises
Because 50 million people around the world
depend on it.
Because it thins the blood
and soothes the mood.
and Casanova consumed it.
Because I grew up not having it,
and waiting for it in line for hours,
as if it were a holy relic.
Because it’s forbidden.
Because it stands for love,
food for this goddess,
and blooms in my mouth,
a sweet dark flower.