“Bourdain said,” my mother said as though he were
her devil, my mother, confined to a chair by years of toil
for others, like Bourdain in his kitchen or on the road
in places my mother had never been and sure as hell
would never get to now. Bourdain spoke to her
from Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul, Bangkok, Lagos.
She’d found her man, unafraid to risk his life
for a hearty meal. He rolled through Yaba,
asking the locals to smother his moi moi and fufu
until he kissed them and asked them to dance
at the club where my mother let it all hang out,
getting low to the Afrobeat and nibbling his ear.
There was my mother, ageless, arm in arm with him
strolling down the Avenida Atlântic
claiming an oceanfront bench, to share
a bowl of bobó de camarão and a caipirinha
just as the night breeze cooled the coast, her head
on his blousy shoulder, dissolving in the mist.
George Guida is author of nine books, including the forthcoming novel Posts from Suburbia (Encircle Publications, 2022) and five collections of poems, most recently Zen of Pop (Long Sky Media, 2020) and New York and Other Lovers (Encircle Publications, 2020).