Louise Peterkin is a poet who lives and works in Edinburgh. Her work has featured in publications such as New Writing Scotland, The Dark Horse, and The North. In 2016 she received a New Writers Award for Poetry from the Scottish Book Trust.
Arugala! Ar-u-gala! The chef’s hot charges
blare like a klaxon: His mania is theatre here,
the kitchen on view–de rigueur–
and each pale lackey’s misdemeanour is the addition
of brandy to the pan. Applause from the tables for his shouts,
the flame’s mauve hissy fit. No escaping it,
he’s what the tourists are paying for; some local colour.
The workplace is a bachelor’s hovel: low strips of pasta
hang above his head like long johns.
Masseur with a grudge, he pummels out dough for pizza,
fingers branded with garlic,
chopping board whorled with tomato.
After service he harries through the plaza
scattering children like pigeons.
He feels it always; his poor heart straining, a sensation
akin to a crush but it’s really just rage’s carnal urgency.
By a high, cool window he spoons his mother luncheon.
Her sweet face sets with Botticelli resignation.