Soranzio
Brown Gold
by Massimo Soranzio

Do you remember when our old grocer
took out the jar from under the counter
and opened it with great care, like fearing
the brown cream might escape?

Do you remember the way he slathered
the smooth, glossy dark substance on a sheet
of the same paper he used to wrap cheese
in, or red Parma ham?

Do you remember all the hazelnuts
we stealthily picked in our neighbour’s field,
to mix with melted chocolate at home,
like little alchemists?

Do you remember how our teacher used
to point to the door each time we returned
after the break, faces smeared brown,
still licking our fingers?

Do you remember how, when we found out
we were a young man and a young woman,
our first kisses tasted of the sweet cream
we shared behind your house?

Do you remember how on our first night
we made our white bodies brown, and sticky,
and we would not stop licking each other
till they were white again?

Why should you wonder then if every time
we fight, and you won’t look at me, or speak,
I mix flour, eggs and milk, and make crêpes
for you, filled with brown cream?

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: I couldn’t find a Nutella-related picture, but in this one, I was probably four – the number of candles I’m blowing indicates it was very probably my elder sister’s birthday cake.

nutella

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: If you google “Nutella + poem,” you will find hundreds of odes dedicated to one of Italy’s best loved exports. When I was a child, in the 1960s, grocers used to sell it out of big jars or pots, just like they sold suet, or soft cheeses. There were no little individual jars then, as far as I remember. That’s my first memory of Nutella, the beginning of a long-lasting love story. At least twice a month now, as I sit down on the sofa to relax in the afternoon, my wife will tell our little daughter: “Ask daddy to make some Nutella crêpes for you” – and I can never say no to my daughter, of course…

soranzio1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Massimo Soranzio writes on the northern Adriatic coast of Italy, about 20 miles from Trieste. He teaches English as a foreign language and English literature in a high school, and has been a journalist, a translator, and a freelance lecturer on Modernist literature and literary translation. He took part in the Found Poetry Review’s National Poetry Month challenges Oulipost (2014) and PoMoSco (2015), and at present he’s enjoying a virtual tour around the world with an international group of poets on foundpoetryfrontiers.org. He posts some of his poetry on his blog, massimosoranzio.tumblr.com.