Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2019  Vol. 18 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
 print preview
translation from the Italian by Donald Stang & Helen Wickes


sitting at his feet,
gazing with satisfaction
at the demigod that rises
in the middle of their bed.

who no longer leaves the house,
even to collect the mail,
who always stops at the threshold
and doesn’t dare go beyond
on his own feet.

who eat cold sandwiches
and drink
water from the tap.

Their wish:
that the outside world
remain outside.
With the windows closed,
every room is perfumed
with their hormonal fluids.

They hide
from the sun, from muggy days,
from snow and fog,
from sunrises and sunsets,
from the changing of seasons.

But then, if it rains,
there is seepage,
there is a drip
in the hall
and another in the bathroom
over the washing machine.
And when the wind is strong,
it creeps in through the cracks
and below the doors and the windows.
And sometimes
they roast
and sweat under the covers.

They understand
that the outside world
will not remain outside
for long.
The world is neither complicit
nor distracted,
and will not be reconciled
to love.
The world turns nasty,
builds traps
with no way out;
it will drop a net of steel
over their refuge.

But at that point,
sweat and saliva,
sperm and tears
will have covered
their fused bodies;
they will have disappeared
among their fluids.

Then the broken doors
will certainly let
the mail burst in.
Its recipients
will be there no longer.  

return to top