Astonishment

it is true, I still remember the faces of some persons

and sometimes I can recall only the expressions


in DC

the old man with a turban, begging with a Starbucks cup

the homeless lurking the street of the World Bank

the Mexican cleaning workers in the building where I studied

that girl from Nepal who smiled timidly at me during class

the bartender girl at Madam’s Organ with those marks on her hips

the sad eyes of the cheetahs at the zoo


in Atlantic City

the eyes of the gipsy who read my palm and face

the blackjack croupier with his fast hands

the drunk suntanned vagabond walking down the beach


in New York

the group of Chinese women stitching Gucci and Louis Vuitton bags

the face of the thief who stole my money

the legs of the woman stripping in the sex shop

people wearing dark suits on Wall Street


in New Jersey

the smile of that little girl watching Obama’s inauguration day on television

when she told her mother: that’s my president, that’s my president!

I wish I could see children in my country with the same expression

when they talk about their president


in Mexico

the lady selling grasshopper quesadillas

a man without legs crawling in the Metro Zapata station

Blue Panther jumping from the top rope


in Rome

African merchants running after being scared by the Carabinieri

the faces from the Fontana di Trevi

Sistine Chapel visitors staring in a state of full amazement

my face stuck to the glass window at the Lamborghini agency


in San Gimignano

the hangman walking down the streets carrying an axe

the porchetta and the people who sold it in panini


in Milan

Federica lighting a cigarette after eating a crepe with ice cream

the nonna preparing coffee in the morning


in Paris

a young man running among the crowd in the red-light district

my face when I entered the Palace of Versailles

the hairy armpits of that girl on the bus

the sad face of the man from Ethiopia travelling in the same train wagon as me


in London

the kids admiring the work of Jenny Holzer in the Tate

a blonde girl drawing on the floor: enjoy life

the cleaning clerk sweeping at Victoria Station

the young man following one of those girls working for an investment bank


in Brighton

the faces of my friends preparing a barbecue in the night

a bottle of wine in Farah’s hands

those dogs running in Stanmer Park

rugby players, drunk, singing in the upper part of a double-decker


I have seen many faces

smelled many scents

touched some walls and fabrics

listened to many

I can tell you those stories

and, still, feel amazed, remembering with melancholy and joy

I hope I never lose that feeling

and that power to be in a full state of surprise


Photo: author’s drawing