The Waking is proud to nominate "Two Minds, Cooking, Friday Night" for Sundress Publications' Best of the Net 2021 anthology.
Women’s minds are like spaghetti, you say. Lots of connections. Men’s minds are boxes. You want everything to fit inside.
I lift the hard blue Ronzoni box and smile. Really, I say. You wanna compare your brain to Bolognese?
That’s a sauce, you laugh. You can’t even get that right.
So much right that summer in Italy, remember? Sipping wine over
salami and stracchino cheese, eyeing big bronze Neptune high
on his squirting nymphs, always changing his mind about a storm
or somebody’s life. You pointed out that his calm, sunny wife, Salacia,
sends sailboats safely home. God, we had a good time.
Blood, then, I stir the sauce. Your blood’s like Bolognese. You look away, rinsing the sink’s blue belly.
I’m sorry, I say, turning down the stove. We’re different. I’m trying.
You look at me, setting glasses on the counter. Then let’s really try, okay?
Okay, I nod, pouring big splashes of your favorite cab, letting the dog into the fenced yard she loves to leap, while the cat climbs into a grocery bag dropped like a holiday on the sticky floor.
Henry Hughes grew up on Long Island, New York, and now lives in Oregon. He is the author of four poetry collections, including Men Holding Eggs, which received the Oregon Book Award, and the fishing memoir, Back Seat with Fish. Hughes contributes regularly to Harvard Review.
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