Mama’s lost at sea, her eyes wince in the sting of salt spray,
adrift in a lifeboat with William Bendix. Waiting for an albatross,
a gold leaf sails by in a gust of wind. A portent of why she must find
a weeping cherry tree, a lucky omen never meant to be.

Her widowed grandma from Palermo, a divination lady,
always dresses in black. Odiferous as a garlicky black widow spider,
she oozes the tang of sweet sausage and caponata. Under a crescent moon,
she circumambulates a batch of periwinkles to combat evil spirits.

Grandma relies on malocchio, the devil’s horn amulet,
to keep her enemies at bay. But she scares the bejesus out of mama,
screeching like a runaway banshee if a mirror shatters.
A defender of Sacco and Vanzetti, she recites special incantations
when a flock of black-veiled nuns flutters by.

Mama should elevate to a better place where angels thrive,
and everyone is kind and tender and no one’s alone,
unless they want to be. Bursts of fireflies will lead the way
following her sprightly Shih-Tzu, whose nose knows the way,
when even she can no longer see.

Without the nightly stars to guide her, the dog will find true north
whenever she pees upon a moss-covered tree.
Mama worries the earth is fissured, crumbling and overheating.
Perhaps she’ll find paradise in an astrological fricassee.

When the albatross comes into view, she’ll hop aboard his back,
scouring the land for Tarot cards, a ouija board, and a seven of hearts.
She hopes to never see the Joker, spooked by a bone-chilling fear
of unnerving news. But for now, she’s still lost, smelling of the sea,
waiting for a serendipitous choreographer of her destiny.