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Inheritance

Read by Aran Donovan

My Grandpa Evo had a special fork 
whose tines bent out wide to accommodate 
as much scungili pasta as he could fit 
into his wide Italian mouth.  I can 
still see him shoveling it in, slurping 
and licking his lips, slugging Fortissimo 
and laughing, smiling at all of us, our
family, before him at tables spread out 
across the yard.  Sunday dinner, my mouth 
open wide in compagnia di comari, 
panting with laughter, I see him 
in their eyes.  Who can be alone,
chi sarebbe solo, among so many 
          who are dead?
Jim Tolan’s poems have appeared in the American Literary Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Fulcrum, Gargoyle, Indiana Review, and Paterson Literary Review, among other journals, and will be included in the forthcoming Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary Poetry. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches at the City University of New York.