They Blinded Her With Science: Laboratorio del Gelato (A Poem)

When young Clotilde devoured New York

she went to a spot-o

that I hadn’t been yet

where they sell gelato.

On the Lower East Side

near Katz’s deli

Walk south on Orchard

Hear the growl in your belly.

Outside it’s humid

you feel yourself sag

“Gee, how much further?”

Aha! Here’s the flag!


Inside it’s tiny

I thought it would be big

Just a white shiny counter

With no room to jig.

“Can I help you?” said a voice

“One moment,” I requested

Clotilde had picked two winners

she wouldn’t have me bested.

“Banana,” I concluded,

“and coconut: small cup.”

I watched him scoop the scoops in

and fill that small cup up.

Outside it was raining

the patter was real soft

“Here’s to great gelato!”

I said as I held my spoon aloft.

I bit and tasted and swallowed and thought

and I tasted and swallowed some more;

Is this top one banana or coconut?

My tastebuds were at war.


I snapped a blurry picture

appropriate enough

since my taste experience

was causing me to huff:

“It’s creamy and rich but muted

these flavors are so lame!

I wanted taste explosions

Damn, this is so tame.”

In fact I couldn’t finish–

into the trash it went.

So much for great gelato

this laboratorio is spent.

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