Ama L’ignoto

Lauren Stanzione


In Little Italy
I buy a book: Living Italian
falling through pages,
I search for myself
down the spine.
Matt sends me pictures
cacio e pepe
he uncovers
our blood
plasma in parmesan
the only part
of our world
I see myself in. 

Women on the street:
their hair sways like gentle linguini
eyes water against sicilian shores
skin pale as flour lathered on dough
they are thin, orderly
like the tip of the boot,
foreign mutterings in my canals.
La donna
Our fingertips
dance across the ceiling
The Creation of Adam
I reach out
where is Eve?
did Michelangelo
forget how
to paint?

I breathe in pages,
imploring them to whisper
between the folds of my brain.
grazie ciao prego
words of
zucchero on my tongue
tu sei una ragazza
LEI NON APPARTIENE
the green cover
stains my mela verde tongue
with proper Italianness-
listerine
the english on my breath
untangle
the women I
can’t fit inside
arrivederci Lorena!

I write my grandmother
ama l’ignoto
love the unknown
she tells me
she’s never heard
Italian spun
so beautifully.

As I walk home
I think of my mother
our blood boils
the same 37.777°C
our kitchen
the thermosphere
beyond our walls
the mesosphere,
liquid ice
on earth.
She shivers, telling me
go Lauren Rose!
Go!
Italian girls
need
Italian women.

I fly to the top
of the Vatican
cracking open
a dome
of goldy heaven
collecting fistfuls
of light
between my webs
I watch home&unhome,
dimensions of Lauren
the arches
and ridges
of my architecture
silk
against my palms

I tell myself:

AMA L’IGNOTO
Italian girls
need
you, Lauren.



About the author
Lauren Stanzione is a graduate of North Hunterdon High School and a future student at New York University, where she plans to major in journalism and minor in creative writing. She is from Clinton, New Jersey, and has dreamed of being a writer her entire (so far short) life. She hopes to funnel her interest in writing either through a journalistic or creative avenue, depending on where the world takes her!

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