Hygiene


I understand, sure, hygiene, these days, if you're not paying attention,
with all these sicknesses, you think I'm not aware?
I'm not saying not to bathe, are you crazy?
you don't want to wash? I'm just saying to not go overboard,
because there's clean, that's fine, but not clean and shiny,
it's just that people now, bath foams, bath salts,
a bar of soap's not good enough,
no, instead, sometimes, by washing too much,
some things even get lost, the other day,
there was one lady, I didn't know her,
even if you tell me her name, she's not from here,
she's from Rimini, we had met each other by chance,
two months ago, then we met again,
but it's not like now I'm wanting, I'm just telling you
to give you an idea, it was Tuesday afternoon,
at her house, her husband was away,
she started to unzip me, she was wearing a dressing gown,
we'd been drinking, we'd danced, then we went to bed,
she climbed on top of me, sssh!
and today is Thursday
and I still smell her, do you understand?


                                              Italian; trans. Adria Bernardi


Raffaello Baldini, Italian, trans. Adria Bernardi, Poetry, The Poetry Foundation, December, 2007.