under the patronage of the Municipality of Graniti
Cu' nesci, arrinesci

black lava
falls from your shoes
in grandmother's house
on red earthenware tiles
which she swept
swept just this morning
and the sun rises
rises and moves over the Bannagaggi
takes away the night
promising, yet again
scorching, solid radiance
above the flat roofs
sandy, ochre yellow
a soft red
the hen's cackling in the village
you hear it from your balcony
from your old room
a rolling railing in anthracite
its colour peeling off
for a long time it has oxidized
the old cracks in the painted tiles
you still tell her
it wasn't you
you still
tell her
the same old stories

and the dogs are barking
and the church bells ringing
(always four minutes late)
and somewhere down the road
trundles the voice of the broom vendor
throughout the village
like the smell of fresh brioche
from Tanina's pasticceria
you have never seen him
the man with the brooms
only heard of him

and the elders
in front of their houses
in which they were born and will die
mumbling and resting
in the noise of their stories
in the cooing and brawling
of the radio
le belle parole
ogni giorno, la vita scorre
in the narrow alleyways

a labyrinth
which can only be found
by those who know
which is built on memories
for two hundred years
these stones are crumbling away
and nobody notices
maybe because
the oleander is in bloom here
all year long
grows in trees
in white and pink

and white and brown
is the froth
on which you sprinkle sugary crystals
with a tiny spoon
stirring the cappuccino
at the gas station
sticky circular imprints on La Gazzetta
and then the door swings open
and someone you know forever
says: Buongiorno!
here you know each other
without façade
while the stones are crumbling
you return
for the Saint's day
a firework
stars exploding
above the hill
the cemetery
everything is illuminated in this night
(also the ruins)
when San Sebastiano leaves his church
and you return
with news
a child, a hairdo
or a new man

in the midday heat
the window blinds closed
the garbage bags are dangling
on strings
from the the balconies
just like last year
and in the ruins
fig trees grow, and Bougainvillea
tall like houses
and they smell sweetly

a taste of grilled fish
pasta and tomato sauce
a slice of pizza
a fresh arrancino
grease on the tin foil
golden coloured the crust
it bursts and rice trickles out
and spinach and cheese
your gaze is saturated now
you take a quick caffè
in the bar on the piazza
where the old men sit and smoke
and you ask yourself, whereabouts their women have gone

maybe they are with the neighbours
who, at night,
when the sun has vanished from the sky
and the only light the one in the houses,
in the lanterns of the main street
sit in front of the pasticcheria
and greet the passers-by
on their plastic seats they sit
and from their shoes
falls black lava

a scent of nocturnal jasmine
in the alleyway
so quiet it is
that even the cat
has nothing and nobody
to run away from

a room
you behold legs
a single bed
a simple wooden table
the cross on the wall
the TV is still running
behind white lace
so quiet
like this volcano
resting above all this
so quiet
nothing happening
no news
no warning
but everything in motion
the weather, the clouds
forever fuming
a black moon land of once liquid stone
a mountain, which is none you live with him
quasi or blasé
be he kind
(or not)

because he is also giving this: vine, olive trees and almond trees
and tomatoes, and peppers, and aubergines
and gives the men,
who sit in front of their little lorries, work
watermelons and cacti figs they sell
fresh figs
beady fruit
burst open
snatched from the twigs, off-picked
lie in your hand
rough the opening
like the beak of the young swallows
above the village

and you drink peach juice
and you spit melon pits
and you steal the soft heart of the panino
like you did back then
on the beach
under your bright yellow parasol
in your lime-green trunks
where you played cards and table-top soccer
and circled in the Dromokart
always faster than the others

today you sit on its shore
on the pebbles
in the shallow waters
rocking yourself in its rhythm
the circles, the clusters
distracting yourself
chatting the afternoon away
changing seats in common mode
rotating on the sun loungers
positioning yourself, always unto the sun
music is purling from the bars
trickling down the children's voices
so tanned they are
as if they lived there
on the beach
day in and day out
always finding something precious
prendi-la! prendi-la!
the little girl with the wet dark curls shouts
and her beady eyes
she is a counterpart of her tiny brother
who pulls out a plastic bottle
from the rocks
da paura!
and gargling laughter and splashing

quello che è nostro, è nostro
the young say
e basta
at the fest of the fallen stars
and eat sweetly filled cannoli
baked ricotta and horsemeat sausage
scacchiata and gelato di sette veli
and granite di mandorle
and sit in the smoke of the grill shacks
young and old together
tarted up like the village
stalking on high heels
on cobblestones, uphill
giggles behind 2000 year old walls
and you still love like you did
back then
Ninny, Sebastiana, Mariangela, ti amo
grazie per quello che mi hai fatto provare
néanche posso vederti sorridere
and later you will mate
and marry and have kids
as it has always been
as it is right
comu dicevunu li antichi

the only love
that never ends
is a mother's

the child by her hand
never leaving her sight
wait! listen! look!
she calls you: aspetta!
a kiss on black curls
which keeps you by her side
with every step across the street
she is with you
and her story
is glued to the sole of your boot
(also your father's)
and your language you wear
in front of your mouth

you walk along the stonewall
up a ferry's landing stage
in the port of Messina
you enter a ship
that will take you to a new port
the cypresses have always
shown you
the direction
into a space
which holds ready new ways
for your thoughts

with this sky as an origin
with this horizon
how could you get lost?
to her or yourself?

a three-legged fortune
runs in your veins
(an abundance)
share it with this world
(it is not bad, only big)
it is a good place
believe me
try it
try yourself
find your curiosity
and then tell grandmother about it
about this world
and everything you experienced in it
heard, felt, tasted, saw, and sensed

thereof tell her
of your new thoughts
when you rest with her
in front of her house
where black lava
falls from your shoes
on red earthenware tiles
which she swept
swept just this morning
when the sun rose
rose and moved over the Bannagaggi
and took the night away
and yet again
promised scorching, solid radiance

when you come back
and again
bringing new stories

© marianne jungmaier, graniti 2015
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