Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Silence served with love

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Cooking For One

First the tomatoes, setting them out side by side, red bolides
filled with the blood of an Italian sun, slicing them through
a silent galliard strumming in my head, the lute-shaped cutting
board coarse along the edges, the rounds dancing and falling
in cinque passi precision, fretting two white moths curtsying
on window curtains spring moonrise takes no trouble parting.

Next, a small wedge of cheese willing to yield what age does
to each of us, something able to sit unflinching before a silver
cunning as the blade moves through neatly as with a purpose
that presses tears from cured olives to pool in a small plate set
aside to hold a divine stigmata of red vinegar for the bread
unwrapped from paper that only hours before rose in a crucible
of brick and fire, in the leavened resurrection of all we find holy
in the fields and the grainless labors of our own uprooted hands.

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I do this because I matter this night, because I know each small
action I perform will culminate in my setting a place for you
across the table, because I will do so knowing you will not come.
Lamb on the bone succulent as an old testament, savory as saxophones on a Saturday night, a fat candle placed midway for some cruel ambience that will lose itself in what we might have been together.

I will sit and finish. I will sit a while, drink tapwater from cut glass, finish some more. There will be food enough for tomorrow, but I will be finished. I will ask the you that might have been here if there is anything else you want, anything else you might desire. I will pull out a small notebook and read something to curry your absent ear. It will be a dessert of silence served with love and left to settle the empty room. I will clean up and be filled by that very love.

Joseph Gallo
May 2, 2007


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10 Comments:

Anonymous Patty parried...

How very lovely. How very sad. My heart aches for your wanting to share with someone not there. To find a way to fill that space that somehow, I understand, you dont ever want filled.

May 03, 2007 12:20 PM  
Anonymous aharamanx parried...

What agonisingly painful beauty so precisely expressed.

"...for the bread unwrapped from paper that only hours before rose in a crucible of brick and fire..."

I bake for one and I dearly love you for evincing what was heretofore unutterable.

May 04, 2007 5:04 AM  
Blogger billie parried...

Lovely, Joseph. I love the warm tones in the photos, the quality of the light, which matches the writing so well. Those tomatoes!

May 04, 2007 8:46 AM  
Blogger Joni parried...

This is so effortlessly raw. You take us immediately to a place we all know and make us want to sit with you, alone, in that same space.

Lovely.

May 04, 2007 1:37 PM  
Blogger Kyle parried...

You went to a beautiful place there, Joseph. Sad but comforting; in which you have, and are, enough. For tonight.

May 04, 2007 10:15 PM  
Blogger Rax parried...

painfully beautiful... as a food lover this moves me so much in its rawness- powerful, the way you prepared the poem's ingredients with such vivid detail (not to mention the photos are just as thought/emotion evoking)

July 19, 2007 5:30 AM  
Blogger Rax parried...


saw your poem in my scrying glass. come visit.

July 19, 2007 8:36 AM  
Blogger Joseph Gallo parried...

Rax: You rox! Love your assemblage of words and images. People: Click on Soul's Phantasm and relish!

July 20, 2007 12:27 AM  
Blogger Shesdifferent parried...

Quite the interesting scenario/retrospective. In your mind or in your life...whichever, it came from you. Quite sweet, and I don't mean to be condescending.

July 24, 2007 11:56 PM  
Blogger Joseph Gallo parried...

Both, actually, but mostly from life and a particular woman.

July 25, 2007 9:59 PM  

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