Table of Contents
Birthday parties in the breezeway.
Cousins galore gather 'round a bakery cake-
a huge swimming pool with sugary blue diving board.
She made every occasion special.
Yet again, he returns home from work bellowing.
We never learned how to placate the air.
My mother blamed his crazy clan.
Hours later, he's happily whistling about the house.
At thirteen, I got my first kiss in the backyard playhouse.
A threesome with the Stauffer twins;
my face assaulted by twirling tongues.
None of it ever like it played out in the old movies.
Burrowed in a kitchen corner,
an apt lair for a lioness,
steaming espresso macchiato
in one hand, pen in other,
I start the day in contemplation,
with blue and white tiles as backdrop,
writing on remnants of the unwanted;
the wanted; the reasons I return.
I hold a baby in my arms and cry.
Is she mine?
Delivering Meals on Wheels to seniors,
my hot musician boyfriend Dan by my side.
I visit a friend in Florence and get a
late night call, "Dad died."
Ducati's gone vintage and
resurrected the Scrambler,
Steve McQueen's bike of choice
as a war prisoner in The Great Escape.
I once rode on the back of a Harley.
Grad school at 30 had its perks.
Fearless and helmet-less, I clutched
the seat, not my odd Italian-American date,
as we whirred past cacti flanking
the Phoenix highway.
Ten years later at Ducati headquarters
in Bologna, as a reporter for Advertising Age,
I hoped for a test ride, but had to settle for a photo.
Me and Ducati. Living in the land of tortellini.
Where my taste now ran to fire engine-red motorcycles
whose drivers were devastatingly handsome and spoke Italian.