An exhibit

Suppose the items you left behind

were put on display. Texture and touch

concealed by glass. Images of you and others

framed and hung up on the walls.

A statue of you, made of marble.

Your reading glasses for all to see.

 

Preserve your pride in a jar.

Close your compassion in a closet.

Lock your ambition in a brief case.

Hammer your words of wisdom

in the wood.

 

Keep your hellos and goodbyes

in a file cabinet.

Expose and give your secrets

Away. Purchase your dreams and despairs

at the gift shop.

 

And when closing hour arrives

with a flick of a switch

all that is you

gets covered in the dust.

 


Poem by Nicole Fersko

Read in Italian:

Un’esposizione

Provincial Love 1 

Like falling while seated:

hoping in unfair rails

or else not taking me

to you. Due either to contrition

or to stability.

But do you see the connection?

You know, sometimes

I saw you between limestone

and sprinkles

already talking about you.

Causation does not say

manipulation,

but calls for soft

bonds, and

the settling of the smile into the conversation,

the pain of a prolonged wait

and the apologizing for hours, maybe one day

and lying down among dark cacao

along the table,

love as a bulleted list

of actions,

or ticks,

shopping list,

convoys even of paper

on a floor of intentions.

And let the calling of you be

just a confirmation, and not

cushion of other hours

out of our possession.

 


Poem by Adriano Cataldo

Read in Italian:

Amore Provinciale 1 

Happy Place (Losing My Best Friend)

I peered through the window

And watched her below

She sat on the floor of the shower

Not aware of the hour

On this night

She was drained of light

I always thought she was brighter than any sun

But she was shot by her own gun

By her own love

Which was suffocating her like a black glove

The shower is her happy place

But tonight she feels a waste of space

She pulls her legs closer and I see her face twist

Into something very far from bliss

I try to figure out which drops of water are salty ones

I knew they were bound to come

I thought about every kiss we shared in that room

And was confused at how quickly things turned to gloom

I started to back away

Knowing that this was our last day

I whispered that I loved her

She looked up as if she heard.

 


Poem by Korney Jennings

Read in Italian:

Un posto felice (perdendo la mia migliore amica) 

 

The Pit

“Does the eagle know what is in the pit?

Or wilt thou go ask the mole:

Can wisdom be put in a silver rod?

Or love in a golden bowl?”

 

-Thel’s Motto

William Blake

 

I.

What lies within the pit

I ask

as you near the edge

back here

I’m scared to look

at your smile

a fire

that swells

 

II.

What lies within

the chambers

of your body

pull me up through the

river

I’m choking on your

last breath

above

the ledge

 

III.

What lies within

the passage of your

lungs

I’m drawn to your words

submerged in

diction

hang myself

on the end of your

lines

 

IV.

What lies within

the music you make

as we fall

through the air

it’s thicker than

I thought

wrap me in a      net

of unconditional

gold

 

V.

What lies within

the confines of your

gaze

we lost a whisper

of hair           in

canvas   skies

I’m trying

to     bleed

clear now

 

VI.

What lies within

the darkness here

I said     to

a whore

with frozen       veins

chisel these out

so you

glimpse

the warmth

 

VII.

The Eagle asked

if you saw     my

heart          the false beat

of ashen flakes

rip into me

a cavern

seeping lies

down

stream

 

VIII.

I followed the mole

through depths       of

air                 you exhaled

mountains

above my head

our words

are lost in

ripples of

stone

 

IX.

I saw you with

a silver rod

broken lines

stained in

breeze

like ash

across

my       chest

 

X.

I lost   sight

of     time

when you left

here in the

pit

blood forcing

cracks in

the

golden bowl

 

 


Poem by Shea Lynch

Read in Italian:

La Cava

 

 

 

Learning to Count

215

a minivan in Baghdad

painted Ramadan streets

manslaughter red and

mothers wait for their children

wait for their children

mothers wait.

 

20

handsome men in a bakery

in Bangladesh

silence tongues

unable to fasten themselves

around Koran Arabic

because their

parents sat them on their laps

lulling them to sleep

in Italian

in Japanese

in English

instead.

 

42

men detonated

like grenades in an Istanbul airport

blasting through

bone and skin of

young boys and girls

we all were at

some point.

 

1

a teenage boy cuts

sleeping girl, dreaming

in Gaza

both too young for blame

and a Mourner’s Kadish

is prayed by a mother

who could

have been mine.

 

49

an American as

American as apple pie

with AR-15 bullets

remixes Latin beats

and Orlando gay club thumpa

thumpa thump

with screaming boys in blood smudged make-up

and crying girls who used to watch the

L-Word in secret so their parents

wouldn’t know things about

them.

 

25

a godless man

shouts Allahu Akbar!

in a Kuwaiti mosque

before turning the hall

into a burial site where

prayers used to

be mumbled over by

children

learning

how to do it like their fathers.

 

129

Bombs

are the last thing

heard

in soccer stadium rafters

by Parisian school boys and

mothers wait for their children

wait for their children

mothers wait.

 

 

 


Poem by Michael Lewis

Read in Italian:

Imparare a contare 

 

You asked me what had happened and then where we were going.

I told you at this point that there was nothing left to do

and then we looked at each other and we wondered

what we were talking about, which was our objective,

which was the matter – and we saw our noses

how deep they were we put our hands inside

as we were digging: you in your new bag, I into the sea.

And as we were digging in our noses – with our nostrils

open to smell the bodies that we had flared

in silence with jackknife dives you yelled at me from the depths

of my nose and I called you from the depth of your nose

and I asked you – and you asked me, too, I think:

WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT – DO YOU REMEMBER?

I started the conversation by talking about your eyes and

and then as I am shy in the end I moved

the topic on to your nose, and now look at us, we are lost

in our noses – sniffing like dogs in the butts,

in the noses, in the dark corners of the places we hang out at

feeling they are ours even if we actually ignore them, here we are

inside the nose we have taken distance from the world

getting lost in this deep conversation, and you, keep smelling,

although I have not washed myself, yet, at this point you’ve gone

so deep into the nose that you can feel where things start

before they are smelled, and then forgotten just like

what I told you about the smell of your eyes.

 

 

 


Poem by Alessandro Burbank

Translated by Vera Linder and Kiran Chaudhuri

Italian

I’m lying on the ship’s skin

with the fine salt

in a wind embrace.

I am lying on metal plates

encrusted with rust and salt

that I feel one by one with the ribs

turning and rolling in sleep.

I’m lying on the Caspian Sea

that is drilled anywhere

and the abandonment

is blending with oil

to the thick smoke

the ship is entrusting to the wind.

I’m lying under the stars

in the company of 20 boys

waiting for the moon along the Steppe.

Our partner is the time

and the desert’s dream

far to the east.

 

 


Poem by Giuseppe Barbareschi

Translated by Vera Linder

Italian