AN ORDINARY DAY

1

by Alex Valente

Original Italian by Alessandra Racca (1979-), ‘Un giorno qualunque’

In the match
between what we call good
and we despise as evil
today a bomb will make noise
smoke will assault the eyes
scattering shards on screens
and people
a woman’s tears
will stand still
before the body of the third
killed son
she will wash this one too
with the gestures she knows
thinking about the only one left
the son maybe alive, travelling
the thought with her every morning

the plants, as usual, will have nothing
to say, keeping at their constant
advancing, dying, changing

a kid will think that a day is a tree
then will run off to a football game

there will be gestures of love
many, contemporary,
accompanied by shining words
in multiple languages

many today will say they’re happy
and there will be thankyous to life
and there will be deportations
and there will be the hand of the strong on the neck of the weak
choking
and there will be notions of peace and social justice
many will believe in something
and then will do something
they will do something and it will be brave and compassionate
and an example to others
who will do it again out of justice and compassion
many will believe in something
and in its name will do something
atrocious unfathomable and terrible
and many will be afraid

some will do something desperate and bad
a woman in a square will be swindled
and will feel shame

in the match there will be the dead and alive
wins and losses
and someone will pay dearly
and everyone will have to choose
and some will think they can everything and be mistaken
and some will think that their choice matters little
some will learn from mistakes
there will be accidents we will try making sense of
we will lose all sense and find despair in death
multiple imaginary deaths
there will sudden closing of newspaper headlines

a man will not get up from the street
and all day passers by will ask
if he is dead or alive
and the answer will make no difference to anyone
in his dreams the voice of the woman
who sings that song

someone will save ten days from certain death
something will teach a kid something
that something will be the centre of life
even today newborns will arrive, many will be loved
a woman will give birth to a specific thought
the beginning of a work of art, she will raise it as a child

someone will try raising an eye on all this
but will desist almost immediately
they will cry for things close by
they will think of what they need or want to do
someone will have wider eyes, but still finite
someone else will look for a specific point
they will think that what matters is finding a specific point
and from that point, tell their story.

Editor’s note: This is for Ankara, for Hilla, for Peshawar, for Brussels, for Maiduguri, for Grand Bassam, for Aleppo, and all the other 60 terrorist incidents this month already.

Featured image © Kenzo Tribouillardapf

One thought on “AN ORDINARY DAY

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