Aglio e Olio

Remember those late buttered

parmesan noodles mother made

              when you were young and sick

              and needed something simple?

Wednesday’s leftover cold

spaghetti reheated, worried wet 

              with starched water, sliced garlic, 

              adding an herbal handful, fever breaker.

Your mother is gone,

I am with you now.

              But the bug on the page

              crosses my words 

with tiny feet, tearing my focus

from your desert past.

              I’ll make it today – 

              just call me Jon Favreau.

Air bubbles surround 

browning garlic, aromatic

              in your small straw nest.

              Sliced so dangerously thin

I clipped my talon

and felt the puncture 

              as I tossed bits of red pepper

              in the hot, black iron.

I swirl the pasta

in your sauce. Minced 

              parsley, added last.

              My tense hand stings again 

squeezing summer lemon,

turning everything thick. 

              I watch your scarlet mouth 

              waiting on my bed.

Oil coats the corner of your open lip,

              dropping your fork

              to ask for more.

Alyssa Ross

Alyssa D. Ross was born in Guntersville, Alabama but spent over a decade in Northern Virginia. She holds an MFA from George Mason University and a PhD from Auburn University. She currently lectures in creative writing, composition, and literature at Auburn University.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN