Spaghetti Poetry

Yesterday in class a teacher asked me to talk to her class about poetry

so, as an exercise meant to unpack how a word can function

as a symbol reminding us of how what we most want and love

can slip through our fingers while we search for a place to feel warm

and most like ourselves, I ask a student what’s your favorite food

and he says spaghetti. Spaghetti reminds him of snakes and also dinner

with his father, which he tells me is a pastime he’s come to look forward to

since his parents divorced. I explain to the class this is how something

as mundane as eating spaghetti can really mean something as profound

as the relationship between a father and son navigating the fangs of

separation, and the student says cool. Poetry is cool, I say, then hiss on

by explaining how things like poetry are a little slimy, scary, almost

impossible to chase down and hold, and thus they require the twirling fork

of imagination for them to stay on us.