Poem by Douglas Woodsum
Edited by Christopher Seid
Artwork by Alyssa Watters
Always, I have loved the word “lasagna”
hovering in the firmament of the mouth
tethered by a kite string of melted mozzarella.
It wears its tomato heart on its sleeve.
It abides both vegetables and meat.
It floats in the mouth, too, a lazy, half-cooked
noodle. It flows like a small Italian Mississippi: “lasagna.” Herbs linger on the tip
of the tongue, the licked lips: basil, parsley, oregano
and thyme. There is garlic simmered until it blooms
from long-forgotten bulbs. Do not forget salt.
Do not forget pepper. If the pasta is al dente
“to the tooth,” then the sauce is for the whole mouth.
In the Italian folktale, the brown-eyed maid
gets turned to stone. The prince awakens her
not with a kiss, but with the warm, red sauce
daubed on his pinky, pressed to her lips.
According to Douglas Woodsum, there are two sources of inspiration for his poem “Amore.” First, David St. John’s poem “Guitar,” which opens, “I have always loved the word ‘guitar.’” Second, a friend of his with Italian heritage once told him, “I have always loved the word ‘lasagna.’” Doug loves both the word and the dish.