from Chernobylove — the day after the wind

Francesca Pellegrino

To Aver

Dreams are like drones
before dying, affirming their veracity,
they off-spring new dreams.

That one time alone.

And then, the Reign of the Queen Bees.

Someone's gotta win

When I was a little girl, I would make confetti out of mementos.
All of them — which I would attach to a white sheet.
The sky was a colorful patch.
These days I'm just more inclined to leave them off to the side
and — wherever I can — I omit them.
The sky is an adhesive —
an injury right up my right sleeve
that I play whenever I feel like it.

Caffè corretto at the Assembly/Line Café

I envy the order of glasses
in a line
and colored bottles in a row
at the bar in the morning
the honking getting stirred in
with sugar.
It's complex, remaining
focused inside the cup
without wiping out the gray mundane
between sky and concrete
earth so like the whites
of my eyes when I'm blind
and I slide.  I'm merely looking
for some means of attack
against the steely silence
in my empty gulps.
Then I pat my soul back
into my purse and go on my way.

translated from the Italian by Adria Bernardi

Read the original in Italian

Francesca Pellegrino was born in Taranto, where she currently lives and writes. Her publications include Chernobylove — il giorno dopo il vento (Kimerik, 2010); Dimentico sempre di dare l'acqua ai sogni (Kimerik, 2009); and Niente di personale (Samizdat/Biblioteca Clandestina Errabonda, 2009). In 2008, a grouping of poems, L'Enunciato, was selected for the series, Donne in poesia. She is a coordinator of the literary magazine LibrAria.

Adria Bernardi received the 2007 Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Award to complete Small Talk, the poetry of Raffaello Baldini. Her translations include Rinaldo Caddeo's Siren's Song and Abandoned Places, and the poetry of Tonino Guerra. She is the author of two novels and a collection of short stories. Dead Meander, a collection of essays, is forthcoming from Kore Press.