Kitchen 99

there was a crack in a pipe above the wall
where the sun exposed its side, a pattern
like a spider’s web, a net that cast
the glare of the sand over a turquoise stone,
an eye in a cave caked with seaweed, a
fissure in the parapet where
the sea met its swell

and above the entrance a sign
that was engraved simply “Kitchen 99”
a grotto on a beach that had three tables,
one pizza oven and a half dozen
barrels of wine, inhabited by a man
with an impeccably curled mustache
and a chef’s hat
that tilted like a tower high as Pisa,
behind his shoulder and
off to the right

how i got to those beaches, i
can’t say, except my
swim must have carried
me there against the tides
but i was greeted by the man
with a pizza in his hands,
quattro stagioni and a bottle of
house Chianti, a man who had a
god-given gift for tomato sauce
and a little something
sitting on his mind

listen, he says, waves
igniting beneath the
intonations of his voice (as
if he was conducting the
finest orchestra you’d ever heard)
this life’s a loop and you’re
so busy living in the circles of
history you forget your soul will
live out its own story if you let it
*swirls Chianti beneath his mustache
and throws the seagulls an artichoke*
on the horizon, he points beyond the purple
mountains to the left, in the spots between
circles, in the fill of the void that’s where
mysteries are made, where new worlds are
crafted from stone

it’s the high-low things, he goes on,
sea foaming like a great electric cloud,
his voice vibrating through the salt,
that’s what you gotta understand—that’s
what you’re made of—you’re a storm of
balance—and all the most beautiful things
start with the most rudimentary ingredients,
the most elegant things are also
the humblest, and you gotta learn to treat your
awkwardness with tenderness—we all got
dirt at the roots, remember that—
*pulls a plate of meatballs out from
underneath his chef’s coat*

they’re like the wings on a dove, he says,
and creative living ain’t about
risk-taking, the magic is in the
imagining *raises plate of meatballs, waves
dancing like the notes of an azure symphony
tiptoeing across the sands* just like these
meatballs, godliness is always found in
the lowliest things when they’re made with love

and just like that, the
waves crashed to a halt
and the man disappeared,
leaving behind a half-drunk
glass of wine and a
dozen meatballs,
seagulls stuffing their eyes
with the fires of the
midday sands

14 thoughts on “Kitchen 99

      1. Proprio oggi ho ordinato una ‘cuattro stagione’ in un ristorante italiano. Ho mangiato bene, le pizze erano buone e gli ingredienti di qualità. Anche il vino era aceptable, ma il caffè (un cappuccino) orrendo. Non si può avere tutto dalla vita, non é vero?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Eccellente, bella amica! Il limoncello lo faccio io in casa mia in modo naturale –tutto doppiamente perdonato… Sai? la vera ricetta del limoncello prevede l’utilizzo dei limoni di Sorrento che si caratterizzano per la buccia grossa, rugosa, ricca di oli essenziali, propio come la bucce delle streghe che abitano le grotte della Isola di Stromboli. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Dall’isola di Stromboli? Non sapevo! La famiglia di mio nonno proviene dalla Sicilia. Sono certo che sei un ottimo limoncello, amico mio. Delizioso come il tuo foie gras e un buon digestivo. Ma, ho una confessione: quattro stagioni non è la mia pizza preferita. Adoro le acciughe fresche del Mediterraneo e mangio sempre la pizza napoletana. E tu?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sono una persona molto stravagante e logicamente mi piace la pizza capricciosa. Adoro anche le donne coraggiose che lottano per ottenere quello che vogliono.

        Buona sera, ragazza di vaghi e magici sogni.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome U! Admiring your writing. Spectacular creativity! There has been some recent snow here, and sun shiny days like today …in the 60’s. I’m well thank you! Have fun exploring the Used mind!😀

        Liked by 1 person

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