When the Roman Empire, like an overcooked
kielbasa, began to shrivel up, Christians made them
illegal. Peperone, Calabrese, Sanguinaccio:
from speakeasy kitchens, butter, lard and onion
hissed. Holsteiner, Genoa, Cervelats:
20 centuries later, the High-Production
Pickle Injector ensures a steady supply.
Presskopf, Figatelli, Jagdwurst:
could it be their names? That each must form
to its casing? Whose nose hasn't longed
for the scent of fennel and pork?
Who can say sausage isn't onomatopoeic?
"Cook them slowly," Dishes of the World
insists. "To keep from bursting, prick."
Robert was my first: red pepper, pimento
pinch. Chorizo de Lomo. Taught me
sizzle, avoidance of smokehouse shrink. Never
would I settle for less. Byron Speer -- oatmeal, vinegar,
thyme -- loved to go shirtless March to November.
Skin silken gravy, oven-baked. Chuck, a Drisheen --
running ox, tansy-tinged; two parts blood
to one part cream. Helmut, all-hands-in-the-pot
simmering shallots, 6'2," 220; sweetness
soaked (lawyer by day, Braunschweiger
by night); Dylan a Rotwurst, keeping sausage --
sage, chestnut purée, lemon, Muscadet --
would have kept and kept....
The man I love doesn't love my bread-crumb-soaked,
sputtering-pork-and-chipolata past --
salsiccie, budini, zamponi.
But the past is long as Italy's boot.
It is made of leeks, red wine,
crushed garlic, whole peppercorns.
There is plenty of room at the table.