Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Jenne R. Andrews: Calabrian Garlic

.

In her window, a basket of garlic reaching for the sun.

She broke off one of its fat cloves and took the knife

.

to it, using the blade’s flat to mash the nub open;

then she peeled off the papery rind and there it was,

.

sending its quartered objections into the air,

disempowered and redolent.

.

I sat back in the shadows with my love, her son Pepe;

we sipped Latte di Mandorla and watched Mama

.

in her cooking dance: how she carefully took a knuckle

from butcher paper, sliding it into a boiling pot,

.

mincing fresh basil, crushing pomodori for the sauce.

We kissed, and longing surged in us and his tongue

.

was as tensile and searching as the garlic’s green

and inquiring foot, and I dared not touch the tendrils

.

of his desire then. But later, spent and laughing after dinner,

I kissed again his garlicky mouth, and much later, we wept

.

briny tears of rapture, rising to walk the edge of paradise,

the lolling Calabrian phosphor on the Strait of Messina.

.

I saw something arc through the air, and he said

it was the pesce spada, swordfish in rising-moon ardor.

.

I said within myself, with my poet’s heart, thinking

of Homer’s stunned walk in this very place,

.

That is Scylla herself, exulting in the tide that forces

garlic-stricken lovers into each other’s arms at all hours.

.

Soon I boarded a train north, away from Mama, Papa

and the babies lolling in everyone’s arms at dusk

.

in the kitchen; many years later, there is no trace

of them now, not even anything legible in a book

.

of names, as if I had conjured all of it from thin air,

my indoctrination into a hard, polished love

.

tinted by flash in the pan anger, like the pink

water-laved stones one finds in the surf,

.

la famiglia’s work-weary and serene faces

as we walked the garden.

.

This is what I remember now: all of them cloistered

in simplicity and resolve, like the purposeful garlic

.

in the window basket—sublimely impermanent,

sheathed in undaunted light.

copyright 2015 Jenne R. Andrews

pink-garlic-under-bright-sunlight-closeup-image-34440557

3 comments on “Jenne R. Andrews: Calabrian Garlic

  1. namelessneed
    May 23, 2015

    After some time, I find myself coming back to your fine work here, and find it a satisfying good read, again/ thanx & keep on

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia A. McGoldrick
    April 7, 2015

    Beautiful poem, Jenne. Garlic works so well as an analogy in your words, a slice of life and memory. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. muzikonerileri
    April 7, 2015

    haha sarımsak

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on April 7, 2015 by in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , .

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