The mystery of friendship

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.

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