No, I have rarely been fooled by Italy (luckily) but have crossed paths with Italy and Italians in the years since I declared one of my main rules in life, i.e. “Don’t Let Italy Fool You“. Years and years ago, I did meet a rather sexist, reactionary, jealous Berlusconi supporter called Marco who told me he hated this poem because “clearly a lesbian wrote it”. Do I even need to say that I spoke with him no more?
To simulate the burning of the heart, the humiliation
of the viscera, to flee cursed
and cursing, to horde chastity
and to cry for it, to keep my mouth
from the dangerous taste of other mouths
and push it unfulfilled to fulfill itself with the poisons of food,
in the apotheosis of dinners when the already
swollen belly continues to swell;
to touch unreachable solitude and there
at the foot of a bed, a chair
or the stairs to recite a goodbye,
so that I can expel you from my fantasy
and cover you with ordinary clouds
so that your light will not fade my path,
will not muddle my circle from which
I send you, you unintentional star,
unexpected passage who reminds me of death.
For all this I asked you for a kiss
and you, kind and innocent accomplice, didn’t give it to me.