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I believe in artichokes

Italy did ruin me. After that first trip I came back disgusted by bodega coffee, which now smelled of old socks. Before, it was just fine. I rolled my eyes at red sauce joints, detouring old standbys like a stranger. If eating can be seen as a religious or spiritual experience I had been to the mountain. In time I would return on pilgrimages, always holding the simple pleasures in my thoughts.  An artichoke, methodically fried in good olive oil, with some salt. Black truffles, good butter and fresh pasta twisting around the back of a fork. A very cold and tiny glass of porto bianco sipped in a Genoa bar, with my friend Federico. A man cleaning sardines on a block of wood in the street. A woman selling green figs that she wraps into a newspaper cone. I have thousands of these memories, these artifacts. But I live in Moscow, where there has been an embargo for years now, and there is no population that expects perfect mounds of fresh cheese. They ship powdered palm oil here, that gets …

black on black

I cannot say very much
about the black on black
the bloody days and
nights
the tense moments making life
count while I wait
for the police to come
but they never do
just a trick to
scare me
but I am not scared.
I will spend my last moments of
freedom with that
little girl who eats peanut butter
with a spoon right
from the jar
every time the police are
supposed to
bust in.

I will walk in the cold air
and buy
raisin pastries
for her, every morning
no matter what.
I am her father, no matter
where I sleep.

I will listen to Beatles songs
and think the
black on black
cannot be more
dark
than this.
That the snow did come quickly
and yes, we made miniature
snowmen and
snow women together before
she got cold and we went inside
for soup and
cartoons.


Comments

brenda said…
For what it's worth, I'm right there with you, M. Try and write your way out of the dark. It helps. I swear, it does...

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