by Julie McCollister
My son and I are walking
along the beach; I am
talking about the waves,
how they curl in on themselves,
boil up with foam.
He asks what’s for supper.
Thinking of bluefish
baptized in lemon juice,
or lobster dipped in butter,
or steamers so succulent
opening their shells with a sigh,
I ask him what he wants. “Spaghetti,”
he says. It would be the same
at any place, any season.
“How about some steamers?”
“Spaghetti,” he says firmly
with a shake of his dark head.
A skein of seaweed
is cast up at our feet.
“It looks like brown spaghetti, Mom”
he says. We walk on.
He notices the beach grass rippling
like a punk haircut in the wind.
“It looks like spaghetti, Mom,”
A woman passes us, her hair
in thin plaits, beaded; it looks
strangely like dark spaghetti.
Overhead the sun is
waterlogged pasta in the sky.
Just then Karl Marx walks by
a mass of flesh above blue swim trunks
his beard white electric strands.
“In a classless society everyone
will eat spaghetti,” he says, and passes.
I turn to see his corpulent whiteness
Pretty soon we are arguing again
“What about a nice lobster,”
I ask ,knowing he’s loved it
since he was a baby, but
he has no pity.
Just then Sigmund Freud jogs by
natty in his beard and baby blue togs.
“What do you think about a child
who will only eat spaghetti?” I ask him.
In a voice as rich as strudel he answers.
“I prefer manicotti myself…”
I turn to watch him run on,
his Adidas flashing
in the light.
“What kind of sauce do you want,”
I ask, as the sun rests red on the water
like a giant meatball in the sky.