So Mary asks, “What do you feel like
for dinner?” I hold my paint
brush above the can. “How about pasta
with fresh cut up tomatoes —
some of those little shrimp I bought at
the Carniceria this afternoon?”
“I’ll start the water.”
“I’m almost done, touching up
two boards, gotta wash out my brush.”

The pasta water’s roiling, shrimp’s
soaking in sugar water, tenderizes ‘em —
pasta’s near to a minute done — I
sauté garlic in olive oil, dry the shrimp.
Mary’s set the table, uncorked
cold wine, tore up lettuce, and she’s
cut up three tomatoes. I’m simmering
shrimp in olive oil, sliced garlic, aah!
pan’s hissing, windows steamed, swosh
I’m layering pasta on the shrimp.

At table we bless the ocean for her
bounty, Mexicans for spring tomatoes
tanned Italians in southern Italy for
this hard winter wheat pasta and
sprinkle red pepper flakes, feta cheese
from Greece, add chopped tomatoes
to gain a little heat, soften, stir up
the pasta, steam rising, the aroma
of rain and earth, clink glasses,
“What else can I get you?”
“I have everything.”


About Ciletti

Jim Ciletti, an award winning poet, filmmaker, and author, is the 2010-2012, Poet Laureate of the Pikes Peak region, and for 41 years, poet-in-residence for the Orme School Fine Arts Festival. Jim gives many workshops on the writing and performance of poetry, and makes poetry house calls to create personal poetry events. Ciletti loves everything Italian, including cooking for family and friends, and loves to plant garlic, make homemade wine, and eating peaches and plums. "Everyday is Christmas, but you don't always get everything you ask for. Sometimes more. Poetry celebrates life."
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