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by Vivian Lamarque
Translated from Italian by
Sarah Stickney
Issue 25 Online Exclusive

Forgive me I sold your brooch
of gold, the one like a branch of gold
to an I-Buy-Gold, to a pale young lady
I sold some rings too I come
and go by now she knows me it’s so hot
in here I told her how do you stand eight hours
why don’t you get a fan
one of those little ones, even one
that’s portable you’re right she said but
I already know she won’t do it, I don’t know
which I-Buy-Gold it is, I chose it
because it was close by and polite
the price of the day she won’t tell me
ever, let’s hope. You would disapprove,
you’re just the same you’d say, and then why sell
the gold brooch to an I-Buy-Gold you don’t need
the money, it’s true I don’t need it, I sold the brooch
so as not to leave it to the thieves who sooner
or later will come, people say they come to everyone,
they already broke in through my window, through
the door they don’t dare you know outside I’ve written Tom Ponzi
and Police, that time they didn’t find the gold but
another time they could they didn’t take anything
just a credit card I think, the computer no
because I cleverly taped a piece of paper
on it that says doesn’t work needs
repairs (maybe I should translate it though
in case of a foreign thief) and then forgive me I sold it
so as not to leave worries to my daughter and grandchildren
everyone prefers cash these days, anyway your
golden brooch and its branch of fruit blood-red
with a ruby (the I-Buy-Gold said
don’t worry about taking it out, I’ll do it) the color
of your boundless heart, anyway your brooch–

I have it here where it pierces my chest, and bleeds,
now that I’ve put it down on paper,
a little less (you know that’s what we do us poets).

Vivian Lamarque (born in 1946) is an Italian poet and translator, born Vivian Daisy Donata Provera Pellegrinelli Comba. She has translated La Fontaine, Valéry, Prévert, and Baudelaire and has written for the newspaper Corriere della Sera since 1992. Her first book of poetry, Teserino, won the Viareggio Prize for debut works in 1981, and she has won numerous prizes since. She has published eleven volumes of poetry and numerous short stories, and the majority of her poetry is collected in her Poesie 1972–2002 (Oscar Mondadori).
Sarah Stickney received her MFA from the University of New Hampshire. She is a former Fulbright Grantee for the translation of Italian poetry. The Guest in the Wood (Chelsea Editions: New York, 2013), her co-translations of Elisa Biagini’s selected poems, was awarded the Best Translated Book Award for Poetry in 2014 by the University of Rochester. She lives in Annapolis, MD, where she teaches at St. John’s College.