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For Lina MAG
Chef of the Northern Cuisine
Oh, who has kissed those hands,
now wrinkled and peeling potatoes.
Who has held that waist
rounded and plump with age?
Why is it so difficult to look past your pot roast?
I found a forgotten photograph
The lost day at Coney Island
And in the mist of the bustling beach
Posed for the camera
One hand on hip,
and the other in your platinum curls.
Your sunglasses make you look like a movie star.
The immigrant charmed by America's lights.
And every man longed to buy you an ice cream
and died just to watch you eat it.
But those ice creams have long since melted
And Coney Island is deserted
The radiant star is in a cramped Astoria apartment,
surrounded by glasses from the World's Fair,
and the open-toed shoes of your youth.
You hear the voices of lovers in Naples
And sway to their sorrowful serenades.
You still beg your parents' forgiveness
for leaving them back in Bedonia,
and pray your rosary every night.
I adore you.
For that Coney Island picture,
for your lipstick
For your independence,
I refuse to love you for your pot roast.