TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN BY CRISTINA VITI
THE PLIMSOLL LINE
So many new words have been learnt
clustered beyond the door, lying in ambush.
And ambush has its own gaze:
it threatens, usurps, above all it persists
not knowing silence.
The din of data, the ups and downs, thresholds
the Excel spreadsheets , exact data
bodies named as the count progresses.
Where is the count at?
The parting forms new tribes:
the careless, the unaware, the healthy, the sly
those who take care of the agony of others…
If you’re still scared when you wake up
take my hand again.
Do your fingers still remember me?
Careless, the night baptizes some
offering an imprint to their foreheads
and they’re the disappeared.
Others are waiting, others denying, others pretending
that nothing ever happens.
Others despair, others look for love ties,
find them anew.
Who is the one you’d want to call by name,
feel close to you?
The gap between beauty and unbalance:
there is no forecast
for this or for the weariness, the dryness
of gestures in the impossibility of doing otherwise
but believe me: no one accustoms to being apart
and that’s why we’ve trained our gaze.
To see further beyond.
And there’s so much that’s worth the effort
despite the attrition… We need distance
I know: now everything’s so exceedingly close
and some repeat there’s nothing but ruins
debris and ruins. But look closer:
what do you see?
No, we won’t be just bodies riddled with absence
but a range of miracles.
Feel how long the world endures inside you.
And tell me:
where shall we begin?
The Plimsoll Line (also known as The eye of Plimsoll) is a conventional mark on the sides of merchant ships indicating the position of the waterline corresponding to the maximum permissible load.
By metaphorical extension, the suite of 12 texts addresses the year of the pandemic (which began in March 2020) and the moral, physical and social burdens that have impacted society and individuals.
Each text ends with a question: not addressed to the present but to the future.