What Frommer’s Left Out

By Laurel Bastian

The Ristorante di Memoria
has a zealot for a chef.

The waitlist is ten stories high.
The soup is a corridor to infancy, 

and because the smell of adored breasts
makes you want to die there, 

entrees are mandatory.
Waitstaff circle nervously

in felt-soled shoes, discern how diners
perceive the fullness of their glass. 

If you go, don’t fret about potential turns:
there is adequate supervision

and everyone’s safely masticating
antiquity in the same room.

When you are brave enough to order
the memory of your mother  

venturing miles from the nursing
home you placed her in, 

down a county highway into pasture
(her pajama bottoms soft with dew,

her face bloomed open),
someone else will be reliving

an orgasm so sepulchral
it was many beats before 

they could remember letters,
could fish their name out of the air.
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About Laurel Bastian

Laurel Bastian has work in Margie, the Cream City Review, Tar River Poetry, Nimrod, Anderbo and other publications, was a finalist for the Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and holds a MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She teaches creative writing at a men's prison near Madison.


  1. ryan
    Posted June 2009 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    No comments: everything is already sa(i)d. Actually, it’s beautiful.

  2. Momma
    Posted June 2009 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Part of your brilliance is the ability to take fragments of life, moments that evoke palpable feelings, and integrate them into a broader repetiore of thought. The image of Grandma walking down County Z will never be the same – and yes, it’s OK. It is part of life.

    Love you…Momma

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