The Insult

by Christopher Cocca

There are no bakeries outside San Marco in 1968, no fish markets or butchers, only tobacco fields and salted meats between Carmine's and the piazza. Dirt roads spread like long brown leaves from my cousin's to the church-square and we ride to town on ox carts and warping wooden wheels. I give my aunt a big roast in the cool dirt kitchen where summer meats are hanging. At dinner there's a small piece cooked and I ask about the rest. Three quarters of my trophy is cured above the table. Flies land on my see-through slice greedy and don't notice.


Christopher Cocca is the author of Progress.