Dad strolls from the city bus
blue touch paper under his arm –-
pasta waits to explode.
Brown bag holds garlic
white skin rustles as he walks
Pay day treat from Fazzi’s.
Mum slices, chops and crushes
croones along with Sinatra
‘Ah que luna, ah que mare.’
Green oil & red puree
sizzle mince to magic.
Our dreams smell of Dad’s Italy,
the only wartime odour mentioned.
Round the kitchen table carried out
to the garden sun we watch
blood-red Chianti wink in glasses.
We kiss slurped spaghetti and think
of The Lady & the Tramp, not
fighting in Salerno.
By Finola Scott
The legs are the first to go.
I savour amputation.
bite off one foot, then another.
Decapitation comes next. I look the ginger people
in the eye, gnaw a head,
roll a skull on avid tongue.
I save the torso for last:
nip out the hearts
with sharp white teeth.
By Susan Castillo
“Ginger Holocaust” was first published in Abiding Chemistry (Aldrich, 2015).
Take two pounds of Florida oranges.
Peel, then segment carefully. Add a tale
from Aunt Cecile about her bastard husband Jack
who ran off with that floozy from the Coast.
Then take one coconut. Hurl its hairy head
against the floor. It will burst open, just like
the head of Janie’s husband Number One
who put a pistol to his mouth.
Grate white snowflakes into a crystal bowl.
Presentation will be enhanced with a few drops
of knuckle gore. They will accent the flavor,
add a touch of pinkish elegance.
By Susan Castillo
“Ambrosia” was first published in Picaroon (Issue 1, March 2016), and was nominated for a Best of the Net award.
A recipe for a break up
You will need a good handful of nerves that have
been tenderised the muscle fibres of your heart
broken down in order soften the texture
of hurt which may make distant and future pain easier to
digest even taste better in the long run they say the toughest
break up can turn someone into
a succulent juicy being with the right methods though
your love has been pulverised your self-esteem roughly
chopped at this stage you
should cook your confidence moderately let the negativity
slowly ooze out perhaps coarsely chop one or two shared
acquaintances from of your life
add them to the pan of no return select as many love letters
gifts as you think necessary cut them into chunks cover the
photograph of you both together
let your anger steam for a few minutes while those thoughts are
simmering slice the remaining photographs add them
to this satisfying stew of new you finish
it off by grating bitterness on top it is so comforting a warm
delicious lift mouthwateringly sweet it will be sure to leave
you feeling tender flavourful strong.
By Arwen Webb
Quitameriendas purple the meadow in splotches
we try to avoid, jump like city cracks try to break
our backs. White mushrooms sprout alongside,
could be “champignon” but they are not.
Swatches of cow-cropped grass rise in sharp
dewy sunlight. Up hillocks we slice orange
bronzing saffron milk caps. Follow pines
north, pause for blackberries and a village
of yellow foot stretching up from moss. I pick
a daisy. Boughs begin to pinch, trunks hard
and close. I wonder if a trumpety-looking thing
is edible. I raise my head, cock my ear. Wish
for a compass. There is an enormous earthenware
casserole, wild mushrooms cooking over the open
fireplace at the lodge, somewhere I am not.
By Kymm Coveney