Francine Witte ~ Spaghettiville

It starts when his moth­er tells him he’d be hap­py liv­ing there. That she’s tired of mak­ing the same thing for din­ner every night.

It con­tin­ues how he wakes up, stringy strands of pas­ta curled up around his chest, his legs, and else­where. He likes spaghet­ti enough to eat his way through it for break­fast and so, that’s how he starts his day.

Later is when it gets dif­fi­cult – when he can’t find his moth­er who is hid­den now in a clump of mari­nara sauce. He will dis­cov­er her lat­er tonight when he mis­takes her for a meat­ball and tries to break her apart with a fork.

He enjoys the gar­lic air so much that he toss­es out his spice cologne and doesn’t brush his teeth. He is cer­tain his girl­friend, Jen, will under­stand. He also decides not to wear any clothes as the ooze of wet spaghet­ti around him feels so good.

He soon begins to widen, and Jen starts com­ing around less and less. She is not much of a break­er-upper and tells him things like “wouldn’t you like some lasagna? It would be good to try some lasagna.” That sort of thing.

School becomes a mop of bread across the class­room floor. His guid­ance coun­selor tells him he is being sus­pend­ed because of the naked thing, and any­way, what else is there to learn?

He stands on the steps of the school. He remem­bers from his hip­pocam­pus the aro­ma of pine trees, girl per­fume, and cin­na­mon. He is start­ing to tire of garlic.

But he’s at that point in his life where no one but him can be right.

Nothing to do but run for may­or of Spaghettiville. That way he can make up moth­er rules, and girl­friend rules, and dress codes.

He only hopes he will run unopposed.


Francine Witte’s poet­ry and fic­tion have appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Mid-American Review, and Passages North. Her lat­est books are Dressed All Wrong for This (Blue Light Press), The Way of the Wind (AdHoc fic­tion), and The Theory of Flesh (Kelsay Books). She is flash fic­tion edi­tor for Flash Boulevard and The South Florida Poetry Journal. Her chap­book The Cake, The Smoke, The Moon (flash fic­tion) was pub­lished by ELJ Editions in September, 2021. She lives in NYC.