History of the Language

Fabio Pusterla

Spring 2019

To Patrizia

In Chiasso, in a ho-hum
courtyard at the close
of the fifties, children
make a game of scaling
the fences to beat rugs—
a puff of metal and grass.
Eternal, the afternoon. Relentless,
the sheep-in-clouds sky.
Relentless, the games.
They climb up and hook
their knees over the crossbeam,
hanging head down, arms dangling,
and in their irrepressible
little voices cry out to the world,
“We’re monkeys!
Beautiful brown apes, orango-tangos,
tiny monkeys doing the ‘Petàce’!”
Then they laugh in the late postwar period.

Fabio Pusterla was born in Mendrisio, Switzerland, in 1957. His most recent collection of poems, published by Marcos y Marcos, is  Cenere, o Terra  (Ashes, or Earth).  

Will Schutt is the author of Westerly (Yale University Press) and translator, most recently, of My Life, I Lapped It Up: Selected Poems of Edoardo Sanguineti (Oberlin College Press). 

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