nessun dorma, camp petawawa, 1940

“My head was still resonant with song. . .” Mario Duliani

they sent hundreds of italian men to petawawa. to sit out the war just in
case they tried to start a revolution. just in case they turned the whole
place upside down.

they sang on the train going up
sang in corners of the camp like shy birds
blew out a village tune at midday
threw together a mandolin band
plucked the corners of their hearts
like lost balding barbers of seville

at night without women no one slept
they hummed a baritone of blues
arias of ancient operas never written down

these spies
these forgotten fascists
of backyard gardens
and homemade wine
sang until il duce hanged
sang until the gates swung open
until they felt their wives
sleeping quietly beside them again

Domenico Capilongo

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