Elisa Biagini

Translated from the Italian by Catherine Kedala

From a crack

i write from the
cracks, in the knots
of the wood, in the
dust under the carpet:

the dark, that waits
to enter, gathers in
dark circles.
like on a crumpled
the mark
to print on it
in ink
(we soak up
infinite edges)
you see me only
in backlight,
egg whites,
a glaze dripping
from the crack:
a braille alphabet
of bone that they want
to leave.
and the back
cracks, a pouch
of seeds
that push,
open into branches,
a thorny bush and the finger

that it never touches,
that cuts the air with its nail.

at the end

at the end when
i write your

name, it will be

after, it will be

on a chair
where the fire

reads it, it will be

short and

I even have ears

I even have ears
on my arms,
open like pores
to drink in the air,
the water, the
atoms of this

like a room
filled with

In this yellow light

In this feverish yellow
light, of an accident, you

gather my
hair like mushrooms

you check one by
one, that they are still alive,

eyes that overwhelm me
like capital letters.

(here time becomes a
spiral, dark like

a raisin, all

Elisa Biagini, born in Florence, has lived, studied and taught in the United States. She earned her Ph.D. at Rutgers University, taught Italian there, and also taught at Columbia University and New York University. She translated Louise Glück, Sharon Olds and other American poets into Italian for the anthology Nuovi Poeti Americani (Einaudi, 2006), and her translation of Gerry LaFemina’s collection, The Parakeets of Brooklyn, won the Bordighera Prize in 2003; it was published by Bordighera in a bilingual edition the following year. Her own poetry, both in Italian and English, has appeared in numerous Italian and American journals, such as Poesia, Linea d’ombra, Lungfull and Women’s Studies. She has published seven collections of poetry in Italy, of which the most recent is Da una crepa (Einaudi, 2014). Her poetry has been translated into a dozen languages or more, including French, Spanish, German, Russian, Arabic and Chinese.

Catherine Kedala holds an M.A. in Italian Studies from the University of Connecticut. She specializes in film studies and literature of the twentieth century, and teaches Italian language and literature. She received a 2017 Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Connecticut.

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