A T. M.
Goliarda Sapienza

Quando fu che incontrasti
il tuo dolore e imparasti
a vedere che ogni donna
lo tiene ripiegato contro il seno.

Quando fu che improvviso
faccia a faccia il suo viso
sfrangiato ti si oppose
e fissasti i suoi occhi di corallo.

Fu scrutando la fronte
tra le sbarre nell’ombra
ristagnante nel cortile.
O nei segni di gesso
del percorso inventato
pel gioco sotto casa
insoluto tracciato
di rincorse snodato
nella sera.
O nel muto cadere
della palla sull’erba
nera di pioggia.

Come fu che imparasti a trasmutare
quel dolore di donna che le membra
contorce in quel bianco calore
che dal seno
alle spalle ti commuove.

Tu cancelli il tremore delle labbra
con lacche rosse con risa ma nei silenzi
lo si sente gridare nelle dita
di quei rami protesi
contro i muri notturni che tu ami
nelle lame sferrate nel fogliame
lame aguzze di neon che le tue mani
brevi mani agitate di ragazzo
tagliano
ma tu neghi il dolore con merletti
e mi guardi negli occhi dove l’asfalto
si scompone in un cielo
nero di pece.

Aperture fugaci
su tramonti per viali
inquinati dalla notte
ridicono di pianti
smarrimenti, mentre
ferma mi guardi
e ti nascondi. E se
attenta mi chino
sul tuo viso tu
scrolli i capelli sulla fronte
per celare al mio amore il tuo spavento.

 

For T.M.
Goliarda Sapienza

When was it that you met
your pain and learned
to see that every woman
keeps it folded against her breast.

When was it that suddenly
facing each other her face
bangless opposed you
and you fixed those coral eyes.

It was examining her brow
between the bars in the stagnant
shade in the yard.
Or in the chalky outlines
of a pretend itinerary
for a game in the street
an unsolved course
of winding pursuits
in the night.
Or in the mute falling
of a ball on the grass
black with rain.

How was it that you learned to transform
that ache of a woman which makes limbs
writhe in the white heat
that from your breast
to your shoulders stirs you.

You erase the tremor from your lips
with red paints with laughter but in the silence
it is heard shrieking in the fingers
of those branches stretched
towards the night walls you love
in the blades wielded in the foliage
sharp blades of neon that your hands
the small nervous hands of a boy
cut
but you deny the pain with laceries
and look into my eyes where the asphalt
is shattered in a sky
of pitch black.

Fleeting apertures
over sunsets along avenues
tainted by the night
retell of tears
bewilderment, while
motionless you look at me
and hide. And if
softly I lean
over your face you
swing your hair over your brow
to conceal from my love your fear.

 

 

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi

 

 

Goliarda Sapienza was born in 1924 in Catania. Her mother was Maria Guidice, a prominent socialist, her father Peppino Sapienza, a socialist lawyer. She acted and taught acting in Rome. In 1958 she began writing. She is the author of numerous books, which include The art of joy, and a collection of poems, Ancestrale, from which this poem is taken.

 

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