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Thursday, February 3, 2011


1.      Tuscany

I am northern cinghiale
savory, untamed
claiming the thick forests as my home
I am pungent pecorino seasoned with sheep’s milk
timeless as the undulating Tuscan hills
shimmering with sunflowers,
scented with cypress
my veins run ruby with Chianti
my bones grow strong on succulent
green-gold, first-press olive oil
my eyes behold the faces
of mountains, the shadows of sorrow
my ears ring with rumors, whispered
in the ruins of Etruscan hill towns
where women always stood eye-to-eye with men
sustaining the wide, round world.

2.      Puglia

I am southern fava beans
simmering in earthen bowls
rosemary-scented roast lamb
purple-kissed eggplant
zuppa di mare, spiced with saffron — yellow-orange,
fragrant with the perfume of North Africa, West Asia
the lands from which my ancient mother-tongue —
my original heart — sailed
the aqua arms of the sea
hug the high-plains habitat
of my Apulian ancestors
the curved, stone-washed trulli
glisten under the furious, scorching sun
the voices of dark-skinned
Madonnas reverberate through my marrow
releasing a concerto of yesyesyes!
as the hot wind whistles
through the dusty open fields
dances on the delicate petals
of crimson poppies
tickles the feathery, flaxen
tassels of winter wheat.

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