how did my unhealthy ego

get me to this place.

a place where i thought

my father forgave me for

being an american.

for gaining 20 pounds

because i forgot the way

he taught me to cook

southern italian meals.

fresh verdura picked from

the land his parents owned.

grilling chicken or pork

using only extra virgin

olive oil using only

olives from italy as he showed

me the back of the glass bottle.

olive oil bottles lined up

all remarkably straight, centered

in the grocery store aisle

“see” he points

“this has olives from 4 different countries”

“not even olives from italy”

he not so gently puts the bottle back

his tremors worsen with age.