Gelato Shop

Gelato Shop

At this, the coldest of cold buffets,
a man asks if there is any ice cream.
The serving lady spreads her hands
says it all is, looking as if she is
trying not to look at him like the
thicker than cream man she clearly
thinks he is. He rephrases, Not sherbet?

No sir. Only sorbet and gelato.
No ice cream at all then? he asks.
She sets to task, her lip a firm line
explaining differences away. 40 flavors
of ice cream, sir, gelato just Italian
for ice cream, same-same. Persuasion is
proffered by tiny sample spoon

palate cooling, shoulders sinking
into the hammock of collar bones,
goosebumps set up a civilization
of unflagged flagpoles of surrender
to the mad rush to flavor, savor
soursop and ginger flown to nap
in the cooling tree top with Bacio,
spooning, nesting, pressing,
in a small waxed paper cup
bailed out, scraped and sucked
a melding new flavored rivermelt
knuckles, chin and nose sticky
with convincing that those are
by any name worth, a vacation
for pocketchange.

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