the face of Italy

Leonard Durso

so I see this cannoli in the window
and instantly think of my grandmother
saying something in half Italian half English
about desserts and espresso
so I buy the pastry to eat while walking
and the kid selling it to me says
you have the face of Italy
which probably explains why people keep stopping me
to ask for directions
there’s the same shrug of the shoulders
the same sad eyes in a smiling face
in the people on the street
and for dinner
it’s linguine with baby clams
sausage and broccoli rabe
homemade red wine in a ceramic jug
water with gas
and I’m home
I’m home

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dreaming of Naples

Leonard Durso

I walk down narrow streets
in my dream
passing strangers who resemble people
of my youth
the faces so familar
it is as if my uncles/aunts are here
huddled in conversation
politics and sports
though the talk here is of football
not the Brooklyn Dodgers
our hearts broken with each loss
our hearts bouyant with each win
and those damned Republicans
on the loose again
here the talk is of a loss of freedom
the high rate of taxes
what to eat for dinner
and time to drink one’s coffee in peace
the shrugs of shoulders
the helpless hand gestures
I know this world
so far from my own
and yet is my own
it is like looking
in a mirror
I have not felt so Italian
until I walked these streets
of Naples
my name not so musical
until I heard it here
I have not felt so at…

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