Roberta Gould

Revelation for Mona Toscano

The Italians!
Are they crazy?
making pasta in a thousand shapes,
pasta that dissolves in the gullet in a minute?
What’s the secret?
Semolina is always the same
fashioned to strings, wheels
spirals or crescents
Is this a religion of gods to be eaten?
And, too, the contests between sisters in-law
over whose sauce is best?
Might it not be a war over roses
and not family tensions to prove?

Still, they must have good reason
to twist their dough this way and that
enchanting children with daily newness
encouraging appetite in those with cloyed palates
Not madness but the beauty of form
is what they’re been known for
at the Sistine or painting the birth of Venus
Not madness but the beauty of form!

So be still!. You who have eaten from the pot
You who are learning to cook