What did you think, you
silly girl? If you broke it
to its smallest bit you’d
understand the whole?
That in unwinding some
fusilli of a molecule you’d
find an Italian grandmother
casting spells with a bowl
of water, chicken bone,
three drops of olive oil?
That a Slinky-shaped bit
of you belonging once
to her could Scheharazade
stories of soldier ghosts
and other dead who told
their tales to her abed?
You might just as soon
conjure your way to her
through granite grave
stone heavy sod as to
think your soul unwinds
in any crazy genetic
corkscrew plunged into
the corky past to pull
from buried dregs bitter
chocolate-cherry-flavored
wine, the color of blood,
one sip and suddenly you
will speak an old-world
dialect, no longer read
or write except in tracings
of tomato sauce, your
fingers stained from rolling
cigars in that tobacco
factory, womb-worn
from bearing babies,
nine or more, the last
to live your father, now
years dead himself. No
test will tell you more.
You already knew all you
are ever going to know.
Look to the spirit for sign.
Flesh will fool you, every time.

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