Mt Etna by Mitchell Grabois


the more he got to know me

the more he was repulsed by the idea of my

becoming his son-in-law

I knew this because Eppa told me one night

after we had finished making love

and she was lying propped on the pillows

smoking a cigarillo

ashes falling on the volcanic mounds

of her breasts


My feeling for Goldstein was mutual

but anything was better than the process of looking for work

scanning the odious want ads

filling out the interminable applications

divulging personal information

faking enthusiasm during interviews

no matter how crappy the job



I brushed the ashes off her breasts

and remembered climbing Mt. Etna with my Sicilian uncle

dragging him up

–he was besotted with red wine from Montepulciano

which he claimed was part of Sicily

though it was in Tuscany—


I brushed the ashes off Eppa’s breasts

and could almost smell the sulfur

of that volcano

always threatening to erupt


About Mitchell Grabois