Surplus of Heaven

They say british multiculturalism has failed to itself

Yet I do feel "multicultural" – very much so.

I have integrated all the ‘sorry’s and the ‘thank you, madam’

More than I thought my Mediterranean nature would endure.


I have integrated the cold handshakes, the half smiles,

I have made myself a tiny imperceptible speck in the crowd and I have run fast.


I have learned to listen to the fruits of my diglossia, The unpredictable effects of that languorous infection of speech and intellect called “bilingualism”

For which I now dream in a not - so – unfamiliar –yet - step - mother



And I still pant behind this idiom

to keep up with its changes 

and disillusionments.


I have shaped a little enclave within it and refused to translate my experience but, rather, I have “interpreted” it

using the confidence and imagination of a very integrated british resident.


Perhaps it did not work at all, multiculturalism that is. Since we all live side by side - never scramble, rarely cross, seldom touch, yet at times we “feel” each other...


So I have integrated a new tourist gaze upon all things Italian,

  Since half of my life/world/future does not come and visit me often.

The little reminders of that vita/mondo/futuro

make sure that I keep up with the south of myself.


One foggy london morning

I have become my country.

Me, the embodiment of a geography,

A mapped identity so worn out

You could hardly visualize me, after all.

Despite itself, my split, my loss becomes a potential gift

my future blessing, the surplus of earthy heaven, my escape.


Since that foggy morning, I don’t mind to perform the exotic ‘other’ 

in a sea of ‘we’. 

I now smell like the sea line smell of Naples, 

Lure you into the classicism of Florence, 

Breathe in the dripping solitude of Venice.


You know I will not translate my grandmother’s rock chair evenings on her terrace, nor my mother’s clumsy attempts at baking my birthday cake, 

nor my father’s farewells at the airport.

- Six years of proud and timid ciao resonating in my heart -


Nor will I translate my first kiss under a September shower,

nor my sister’s curiosity in her ‘how was it?’, whispered to my ear.


"Rubbing will make us free" they said to my migrant, female skepticism

which still make me wonder where my loyalties end

and my-self begins. 


Marika Preziuso

©2019 by Marika Preziuso. Uprooted Transplanted.