Annette Barnes

The Merchants of Venice
March 16, 2020 Barnes Annette



The man speaks some Italian, the woman
points and gestures, knows weight and


number and basta cosi, grazie, to indicate
she’s done.   Sedici?  The fishmonger


doubts whether she can eat so much.
Aperto opens the scallops, sensa


cochiglie gets them shell less. Piccolo
gets the right amount of Parmigiano


and burro, grande, mozzarella di bufala.
The lady butcher prompted by her up and down


fist pounds the slices of vitello even thinner.
Fragole? the pony tailed green grocer peeling


artichokes to get at their hearts asks when she
forgets to. Torniamo prossimo marzo lets


them know when they plan on coming back.
Siamo ancora qui is saved for when they do.

Annette Barnes is the author of a book of poems, Next In Line (Pinyon Press, 2017).