Because I wasn’t in the mood for agreeable conversation. My ancestors, who summoned me
here, are drunk. They are slurring their words. Someone at this table committed murder. I’m
betting it’s my distant uncle, Andy, who is also a third cousin. My parents are dead but still are
fighting about a trip my dad took to the red-light district when I was five. Some things never
change. The Italians are yelling, while the Polish are playing cards. There always have been
tensions on both aisles of my bloodline. Another great uncle just called me a horse’s ass for
sucking at this game of euchre. Now, they’re asking for an apology. They’ll be waiting until the
next afterlife if they think I’m apologizing. I was never allowed to play cards with my elders
when they were alive. The rule is you can’t play cards unless you know how to play. Bisnonna,
my namesake, is serving her notorious pasta, pretending we don’t come from a lineage of
cheaters and alcoholics. This is our first meeting. She handed me a chainsaw to use as a knife.
Maria Santa Poggi is an incoming MFA candidate at Sarah Lawrence College. She has been published in Maudlin House, Into the Void, Bridge Eight Literary Magazine, and Cobra Milk amongst other publications.