Zyskandar A. Jaimot
FRANK PEPE'S PIZZERIA NAPPOLETANA
Serving New Haven Since 1925
157 Wooster St. New Haven, Connecticut
In this sacred Lenten season,
silent men work, precisely arranging dough
to accommodate appetites aroused by aromas
of sweet green basil, pungent garlic, creamy mozzarella.
Because pizza is a slice of Neopolitan imagination,
the secrets of its creation, to be passed
through toil from master to apprentice and on again.
Whispered recipes, spoken as if to eager disciples.
Placed into charcoal fired ovens which never rest
in the Italian section of this city.
The pleasure of anticipation fills the air, when
taste and smell remind all that special seasons of love exist.
But we have become immune to an execution of life,
waiting outside as an April afternoon warms
with hints of chaotic spring. We enjoy the sun,
hoping to satisfy our hungers while out beyond our view,
death waits. Never acknowledged by a present generation
of pastel shirted Yalies; who have come to initiate tongues
with speechless truths cooked within delicious ethnic excess.
Privileged seekers of knowledge, oblivious as to how
the world works - or what it means to suffer, stand in line.
We turn our backs to everyday humdrum existence.
Gathering for admittance trying to maintian
our place without exhibiting how we desire advanced status,
assuming the sophisticates pose of aloofness.
Like a scene, magnificent cultured ladies and gentleman,
of unquestioned quality, painted by Pierro della Francesca,
centuries before. All these fine people, so self-concerned,
so self-consumed, as if they could be discussing
the inconsequential perfect blue of the sky.
On an April day not so different from today.
While a man is scourged in a fine colonnaded piazza,
flooded with overhead embarrassed sunlight.
His cries of pain mute, drowned out by the hum
from banalities by this group's trivial conversation.
A seemingly remarkable event, this ‘Flagellation’,
transpiring unnoticed. Much like the dark, square, sweaty men
who earn their lives from these charcoal ovens.
Never thought of but silently stoking furnaces,
then allowing subpanation to cook and gently grow.
As if awaiting for angels of golden brownness
to rise and miraculously appear.
Creating combinations of substance and spirit
which delight the senses. Carrying on tradition.
Always ordered by the whim and patronage of the crowd.
Workers sometimes unable to avoid singeing meaty fingers
as they tend wheels and slices of life, arranged
over flames from this world's ongoing labor.