The Gagootz ~ poetry by Vicki Iorio

Gagootz: Staten Island for zucchini,
from the Italian cucuzza. My husband used to call me his gagootz,
a term of endearment like cute, when he started to call me
cunt I moved to another state.

Now, I am the caregiver of my ancient mother. All day the TV
blasts, MSNBC our Big Brother. It could be worse—
my mother could be a conservative. The volume is so loud
I don’t hear it.

Crossing the Rubicon from the living room to the kitchen
to get my mother’s pills, I pass a commercial featuring
summer squash of different widths and sizes.

Our farm community has a lot of PSAs about plant disease.
When the John Deere store opened it was like the second coming.

Crossing the Rubicon from the living room to my bedroom,
next time the commercial is on I hear the announcer say,
Peyronie’s disease.

I think the name is Perrone, like Joe, my second cousin.
I stop to watch. The squash are not meant to be cucuzza.
Like trump’s wall they are a metaphor, it has been a long time
between romances, I just assumed it is what it is.

My husband administered self-love when he should have been
out looking for a job or cleaning the cat litter. Sometimes his erection
lasted a few painful days which bent him out of shape.

The cure for Peyronie’s disease is penile traction which I find
somewhat attractive. When I slice zucchini from my garden,
I use my sharpest blade, drink a dry white and toast the Goddess
that made me a woman.


Vicki Iorio is the author of Poems from the Dirty Couch (Local Gems Press) and the chapbooks Send Me a Letter (dancinggirlpress) and Something Fishy (Finishing Line Press). You can read Iorio’s work in various online and print publications.

Show Vicki some love via PayPal at VickiIorio(at)gmail(dot)com.