Winner of the 2009 George Scarbrough Prize for Poetry

Pretending To Be Italian

Ignore the snow,
the radio singing basketball scores,
this entire block
of shutters that don’t close
and were never meant to.
Fill your fists
with the volcano of flour and egg
on the worktop
of your non-Italian kitchen.

Think the instant espresso
in your Wisconsin is for Lovers mug
is fresh from the bar
in the village square,
proffered by the aunt of a Palio jockey.

In the museum calendar
St. Anne just gave birth to Mary.

Leaning from the bed,
Anne’s gray-faced Venus-of-the-moment
ignites the planned air.
In the hot precision
of Lorenzetti’s foreshadowing
she’s pretending
to be someone else, too.

Katy Giebenhain is the author of the chapbook Pretending to Be Italian. She  edits the Poetry + Theology rubric for Seminary Ridge Review. Her MA is from University of Baltimore and her MPhil is from University of Glamorgan, Wales. Poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Water˜Stone Review, American Life in Poetry, The London Magazine and others. She lives in Pennsylvania.