COMFORT FOODS // TWO POEMS – Daniele Nunziata

Image by Nora Selmani

Grandfather’s Potatoes

Every week, you would tell us stories
of the potatoes you grew
in the nutrient-rich, iron-red soil,
and the taxes imposed on sales by the British,
and the fighting and bullet shells on the fields,
and how you brought your knowledge over,
and turned a small, North London garden
into an impromptu potato farm;
cutting off the English roses and
creating beds of Cyprus potatoes,
each frond listening to the North Circular
in the brown dirt between the privet.

I’ve tried planting potatoes since you left,
but they never grow the way they did for you.
Now, they never grow at all;
neither on this island or that.

Not Rice Pudding

The milk was about to turn sour,
so we used it to make rizogalo
or was it sütlaç? –
it wasn’t rice pudding –
but whatever it was,
we watched it thicken into sweet vesicles
and poured into it
a triple-speaking love.

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