Hungry late, I clank around
the kitchen for a snack.
A pickle first and then, why not,
I peel apart a pack
of luncheon meat, some Swiss, a leaf
of something limp and wan,
and now — oh no, the lid’s on tight
but look — the mayo’s gone.
It feels like only yesterday
I parked my father’s car,
peeked at other shoppers’ carts
and tootled to a jar
for slathering on hotdogs
and for dolloping on frites —
there’s loads of foods whose fatty goodness
My pumpernickel won’t go down —
it’s like a warning bell,
the chilly clink of stainless steel
on glass. I know it well.
And wonder under nibbles if
at bottom human lives
aren’t always scraping empty jars
with tips of pointless knives.
This is another of Pino Coluccio’s favourite poems from his first collection ‘First Comes Love‘. He doesn’t choose to comment on it, but I too like it; I like the way it clanks around the kitchen for a couple of verses, and then hits you with existential despair in the last lines. Which might be a matter of personal taste: I like eating limes and lemons, and I find Coluccio’s reflections equally tasty.
Pino Coluccio won Canada’s 2018 Trillium Award for English Poetry with his second collection, ‘Class Clown’. His poem ‘City Sunsets’ is featured in the most recent Potcake Chapbook, ‘City! Oh City!‘ He lives in Toronto.
Photo: “It’s an empty jar #signage” by Stv. is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.