width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses
Spring / Summer 2009


Nina Romano


Sunday in New York

Some people ride the bus the length 
of Manhattan's 5th Avenue, taking in the sights.

They know what it means 
when lightening shrieks across a dry sky—

I saw it once in periphery, 
but all I could take in was the man 

with tastes the same as mine.  
Ah, at least I thought they were—

but youth, they say, is blind. 
I figured I'd hooked that guy 

with savory stories of friends & family, 
but in truth, he hooked me.

I like my Sundays wet & wild—
drunk on wine & family ties—

I love to cook like Nonna did, 
a kitchen filled with pungent 

aromas: tomatoes boiling down 
into a thick red broth for pasta—

that Brooklynites call gravy—
& fried zucchini to spread on top. 

But oh how I suffered for love 
of that bus-rider in the city,

the one with the portfolio
pictures oozing with pride and hope.

Oh, how I ached for love of kin—
Though he'd have kept me

a clichéd wife—winter barefoot, 
summer pregnant. But I re-learned myself, 

gazing in a mirror, questioning, 
dozens of times a day. 

There I am! Naked, still young, 
wounded & abused,

forlorn but feisty, reciting  
prayers for love still with desire! 

Shit or shite, as me Irish 
bastard bus-rider said.

Here I stand, cooking Sunday dinner 
for the kids, humming by a pot 

of lamb and Guinness stew, 
& at the table, telling Blarney tales, 

of his return, wondering all the while, 
was I wrong to kick him off my bus?

© 2009 Nina Romano

About the Poet:

Nina Romano earned an M. F. A. in Creative Writing from Florida International University in 2001. She's an adjunct professor of English at St. Thomas University. Her short fiction, reviews, and poetry appear in The Rome Daily American; The Chrysalis Reader; Whiskey Island; Gulf Stream Magazine; Grain; Voices in Italian Americana; Vox; Chiron Review; Driftwood; Irrepressible Appetites (anthology); and online in Roads Literary Magazine (Window and Silence issues), Night Train Magazine, and GULFSTREAM!NG (a translation).She is fluent in Spanish and Italian. Two excerpts from her novel-in-progress, The Secret Language of Women, appear in Dimsum: Asia's Literary Journal and Driftwood. Her debut collection of poetry, Cooking Lessons was published in June, 2007 by Rock Press. The publisher has submitted her book for a Pulitzer Prize.






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