Three poems from Italian poet Franco Buffoni, translated by Moira Egan.
I’D LIKE TO TALK TO THIS PHOTO OF ME
VITTORIO SERENI DANCED VERY WELL
With his wife, but not just with her.
It was a question of the knotting of his tie
And of the crease of his trousers.
Because that was the education
Of an infantry officer,
Authoritative and, when needed, tough,
Both with family and at work.
Tough with his underlings, protecting yet
Requiring of them absolute obedience:
“It’s an order!”
Recognizing peers with whom to establish
Relationships of alliance or of absolute
Organizing his library, series by series.
MY FATHER’S SCENT
An ancient change-of-property, with maps,
In a bag that had been closed for thirty years.
There was his scent,
An officer’s uniform.
It wafted out fresh
And covered me
In singular love.