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Daniel Cartaina

Pizza by Vespa

Across the Italian cobblestone streets the Vespa scooters ride out each evening.
They weave thru traffic, lean on the curves, elbows held out on full throttle.
A home-made pizza box is strapped tight to the back.
Square boxes made of plywood, some old refrigerator cases, always pad locked.

Inside are hot, thin crust pizzas stacked neatly on little shelves.
A Margherita for Fabio on Via Cavour.
A Genovese with pesto for Anna Maria.
Go pizza man.

Elevators across the city await the pizza man’s arrival like a covert lover.
The brick oven aroma lingers inside and tortures the late night workers returning

We follow a pizza man in our quiet sedan, ahead the Vespa motor screams.
Our head lights dance a reflection on the pizza case.
The license plate hangs crooked, faithful in its last screw.

White lines zoom past …, one, by one, by one.
We catch him at the red light.
Black helmet pushed up, face strap undone.
He’s only seventeen, a warrior of the dough.

He offers a glance down to us but we are invisible to him.
We .., accomplished, mid-life professionals. Imprisoned.
Unaware of what he has, he’ll understand when he’s our age.
Go pizza man .., go.