Kevin O'Cuinn

"Gelato," she says. "I want gelato." First words since morning.
I check my watch, shake my head and busy myself with traffic. We'll never make check-in.
"Gelato," she says again, the vowels longer. She points to the exit, keeps her arm outstretched. I puff my cheeks but follow her finger and we exit the autostrada. I follow her finger onto national roads and secondary roads and roads which aren't roads at all. We stop for gelato. I order a coke and light a cigarette. She orders Stracciatella.
Gelato in hand, she looks back the way we've come. The mountains are out of view, her village.
"Stracciato," she says.
"Stracciatella?" I say. "No, never liked it. Those shards of chocolate, like shrapnel."
"No," she says. "Stracciato. I am torn apart."