When Emari DiGiorgio Vacuums [poem] by Emari DiGiorgio

after “When Dean Young Vacuums”

is an introductory clause as unusual as the last time I saw
legs like that
because Emari DiGiorgio is a tough name.

It’s not Dean Young or Sharon Olds. People stumble
over so many vowels, stress the wrong syllable: like emery,

the nail file, or university. Then why don’t you spell it that way?
Emari DiGiorgio doesn’t vacuum the hardwoods because it never

seems as effective as sweeping and her vacuum has lackluster
sucking abilities. Most of the sand and cat hair just blows

from one static-charged corner to another. But she doesn’t sweep
often either, the too-easy task the first she’s apt to ignore. No one

else’s sweeping. Not the husband who’s bathed the baby and now
waits with the BBC news anchor while Emari DiGiorgio cooks

dinner: eggplant parm from scratch, which means the sauce
in this case. Taking care to not mandolin thumb and middle finger

as she pulls the butt of eggplant over V blade, eeking out two more
slices to egg dip, breadcrumb, and fry with olive oil. She didn’t

grow the tomatoes, onions, or garlic simmering, the purple beauty;
she has the convenience of dried spices in a jar, a log of mozzarella

from Pathmark. Unlike her grandmother, who’d say Must be good
whenever she speckled her huge breasts with whatever she made,

though the odds of her missing those prodigious knockers were
as unlikely as her making a shitty meal. When Emari DiGiorgio

makes pasta sauce, there’s enough for one maybe two meals.
She doesn’t stand on a cinderblock in the backyard to stir a cauldron

of boiling tomatoes to can a year’s worth. When Angelina Ferrucci
died, the family parceled out the last sauce stacked under basement

steps. These were her cameo brooches. When Emari DiGiorgio fries
eggplant, the only sound she hears is the voice in her head telling her

to not leave fork on pan, to not brush either with right wrist, the voice
listing other tasks some related, many unrelated to dinner.


Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

Image by ImpromptuKitchen

Emari DiGiorgio is a recipient of two Vermont Studio Center Residencies, a Sundress Academy of the Arts Residency, a Rivendell Artist Colony Percy Writers Fellowship, and a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Poetry Fellowship. Her first book The Things a Body Might Become is forthcoming from ELJ Publications in July 2017. She teaches writing at Stockton University and is a visiting Poet-in-the-Schools through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Dodge Foundation.