How to Take a Coffee Sicilia
‘Vorrei un caffe’, I proclaim in perfect phrase-book Italian
to the bartender at a roadside chiosco
just a wrong turn or two from the main shopping street.
A knot of lads in box-fresh trainers
halt their card game.
One of them makes a joke. They laugh.
È uno scherzo, uno scherzo, he protests,
it’s a joke, a joke.
Reaching for his coffee, he spots a trembling dog
sniffing the plastic espresso cups
that cover the ground like severed flower heads.
Cane sporco! he spits – disgusting dog! –
and punts it full-force in the ribs.
I focus on the coffee machine's hiss.
Cazzo − è uno scherzo, uno scherzo!
I’d said I’d be back in fifteen minutes.
The page you have requested is restricted to subscribers only. Please enter your username and password and click on 'Continue'.
If you have forgotten your username and password, please enter the email address you used when you joined. Your login
details will then be emailed to the address specified.
If you are already a member and have not received your login details, please email us,
including your name and address, and we will supply you with details of how to access the archived material.
If you are not a member and would like to enjoy the growing online archive of Stand Magazine
, containing poems, articles, prose and reviews,
why not subscribe
to the website today?