’You may have the universe
if I may have Italy.‘
- Giuseppe Verdi
"italy was my first love.
we were two sisters in delirium,
thinking it was safe to sneak out in the
middle of the night for dancing,
with our blonde hair in wild halos around
our curious minds of 9 and 12.
italy was my teenage heartache crush.
sitting in the worn wooden benches of the
abbazia sant'antimo, tears streaming
down my face. most likely from the sheer weight
of the beauty in just being,
the olivetan benedectine monks song echoing
softly beneath the stone arches.
also i think from the bursting musings of a teenager,
sensing that there's a love not yet known to me,
as our parents fought in the warm shadows of
the courtyard olive trees, heatedly discussing the fact
that my mama wouldn't stop gushing over
'the most beautiful hands she'd ever seen on a man',
those of a monk.
me not being able to decipher that slight smile
hiding in the corner of my papa's mouth.
the rapid exchange of words in between them,
that turned into kisses. me trying to make maps
out of grown up relationships, from a maze of
mixed emotions and passionate impressions.
italy is my eternal love.
these days i visit him in flowering dresses,
let his sun kiss me, his wines flow and we stay up all night.
wild halo, in the company of a spartan.
and it all makes sense. i've got my own map now
and know the secret language of corners of mouths.
and i'll always feel rooted in the country where i learned about
the lightness of being and the stunning darkness of love."