1631 c/o Chantel Louise Tattoli

Grandma, Can the Volcano?

Blow its lid, again? Child. They always do.

I remember 1631 was just like AD 79. There was this mushroom cloud. And it looked like Hiroshima. The world—my my, it’s so old. It’s too old to be original anymore.

I remember 1631 was red—all about red, little girl. (You’re a boy? Your hair is so long.)

Red everything. In Pompeii, pumice hit terracotta shingles hard enough to make it crack. It hit people and cracked their heads wide open, and they dripped as they ran, trails of blood that looked like lava to ants.

In 1631, ash from Vesuvius fell on red red tulips in Constantinople. It fell like gray snow in New York. I mean like at Ground Zero. That was red, too. Anger’s red.

Kiddy. I’m sorry. I’m too old to be original.

Does your mother wear red lipstick? In my day, I always wore red lipstick. I dated men with tempers like volcanos. Men who liked to blow up.

Your mother should cut your hair, child.


I’m only sorry I don’t have any red candy for you.