Ask for something, Per
favore, please, the answer is
Thank you, Grazie, thank you,
you say. Instead of you’re welcome?
Prego. The answer is please.
Prego, listen, here in Italy, every
time you think you’re polite, this lift
of the verbal eyebrow, this rise
and fall of the voice like a hand
on its way to your shoulder, insistent
lifeline picking you up,
letting you go
again. No problem! Prego
pulls up the covers and tucks you in.
Cape of Saint Martin. Communion
wafer on each Italian tongue. Prego.
Please, Prego, I pray to you,
worry. Let me
do something for you.
(Photo: Assisi, 2002)