Emily Vizzo

UMBeLS (iii).

“When you allow hardneck garlic to develop a scape (flower stalk), you get what is called an umbel. The umbel (or flower) contains anywhere from forty to two hundred tiny cloves called bulbils.” 




Even Ace has a mother.

When he is not at sea she makes him:


apple fritters

box cake

coffee cake

a different kind of coffee cake, this kind with cinnamon to taste

homemade ice cream


Those nights he cannot he sleep he masturbates in his childhood bed

The sheets smell mildly of garlic and applesauce



His cock is insistent within those land-bound sheets

His belly is hard & distended from the homemade ice cream

He cannot tolerate milk




Pia climbs into the boat

It is not her boat it is Ace’s boat

Ace is at his mother’s house

God knows where the daughters are

The daughters always are

Pia brings 1 jar with her the jar contains refrigerator pickles

She made them

Thin sliced cucumber, chopped green pepper, thin sliced onion

Sugar, celery seed, salt

White vinegar

She left them

In a covered bowl

She thinks of

Good things, good good things

Pia only knows the words to 1 song

A song about God

She sings the song as the boat heads for the island

Doesn’t matter which island, any island will do

If you allow the garlic to flower,

It will flower

God willing

Daughter 2 is an oyster



Not the


glimmering luscious pinky grayish pearl lobbing gelatinous wetty wet inside




The rock


The rock


The closed stone


You fool


You fucking fool




Ace is missing his boat. His belly is filled with his mother’s peachalots. The shortening and ice, the whole eggs, the vanilla, the dipped-in-honey-and-powdered-sugar. He skipped from his cock straight to morning. The hot sweet tea and peacholots. And now the sea, aching with fish. The marvelous, silvery fish.


Ace is missing his boat.


I would like you to




Each other


This is the prayer Ace offers to his Mother, to his wife Pia, to the great white Christ.






His hands filled with milk


Daughter 3


Adds vinegar to milk

This is sour-milk/buttermilk


She lays a plate with sliced oranges

And peppers them


She makes salad:



         2 carrots

         Pickle relish

         Hard boiled eggs




She eats the salad with a beautiful dignity.



Everything is ground up for the salad

By hand

Picture Daughter 3

The silver machine, the


On one piece of bread, the ham salad

On the other piece of bread, peanut butter




Pia sleeps deep in the boat. She dreams of salted eggplant. The salt draws bitterness from the eggplant. You know this. Pia dreams of parchment paper. This time nothing is blue. Everything is milk colored. Even the frittata. Even the cavacuni. Around her, the quiet lap of the ocean, which is milk colored and pressing into her like a kind thumb. Her breath is an egg beater cycling in the garlic-scented air, exhaling the geranium sweetness of the root of her tongue. The island takes on the flavor of elderflowers, the umbel, the full bloom of white flowers. Her breath comes in papery florets. Her breath comes like the white ghosts of honeybees. Pia has tinted her knees with caraway honey. She is taking no chances.