FAKE IDENTITY

by Alex Valente

Original Italian by Fernanda Romagnoli (1916-1986), ‘Falsa identit√†’.

Sooner or later someone finds out:
I am already dead
though alive. It is a stranger’s face
offered beneath the hair
suddenly pulled back,
the shadow behind the curtains
wandering at dusk,
the steps towards the door
that won’t open. Hers the song
tricking the neighbours, covering
my buried screams. Someone
sooner or later finds out. But for now…
She never hesitates
as she shows my cards.
I, in the dark, in chains, just a hand
away from you, on the wall
I carve this crooked line:
witness, yes, it was
my name on the door, but the body
was not me.

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