There are mornings when the city still
smells of chocolate, inchoate, industrial.
No one notices. Yet many find themselves
suddenly slipping, talking of other gone things,
lovers or songs or shops, stopping
by the bakery, fishing in their pockets
or staring out the window, without
knowing why. They might breathe in
a little more deeply, just on their way.
When you inquire, shopkeepers nod,
the movement a mnemonic.
It is not talked about, but some say
there was an accident, a melting,
a pouring, a certain chill to the cast,
a powder, time-released in a blast,
now a random hint in the wind.
All know of someone who may have
worked there once, a man in a hat,
or a woman who was someone’s.
‘Cacao’ (VIA/ Voices in Italian Americana, vol. 22, Spring 2011 [pdf])