I wish a rock ‘n’ roll song spread
through the mist on Melchiorre Gioia street, Milan.
By now it’s pitch black but Totem bar is still open.
Some suburban runaways parked over there
and sat on the hood with a beer
and it’s like we were on the dusty roads of Illinois.
I’m safe with you and I feel like
a Mississippi farmer in his wooden veranda
caressing his golden retriever’s ears
before going to sleep.
I listen to your gently chattering voice
and I look at the empty pale streets of the nocturnal city,
like a Mesquakie looks at himself mirrored in Lake Michigan water.
The mystery of friendship wraps me
like a hamburger in its silver paper
and the more I feed on it the more I need it
to fill me and feel complete.
Suddenly I recall that time in Berlin at Burger Maister,
surrounded by the affection of people from all over the world.
Who cares about geographic borders:
wherever I go, I just need a friend’s word
as good as bread and hamburger
to feel like home.
That’s why I get attached not so much to flags,
as to greeting cards and pictures
of those whom I consider my friends.