by Alex Valente
Original Italian by Amalia Guglielminetti (1881-1941), ‘Un’amarezza’.
A bitterness without word:
but absinthe and bile and venom
every bitter thing, from my bosom
gurgling to my throat stirred.
The anguish that has me slave
was no more. Only bitter-fill
was my blood, and was not still
that similar lone, slow wave.
My palate spoiled by its taste,
my voice airing its disgust,
like a flower laid to waste.
Yet, I still found another smile:
a smile so bitter with distrust
it eats your soul, leaves your mouth foul.