top of page

Three Poems about Homesickness

Acts of Kindness

You forgot how to eat and breathe at the same time

Every act of kindness done to you is painful and a reminder of absence

That wound made

of plastic of orange bedsheets and a 38-year-old worn-out mattress of tv on all night long touch it

Don’t be gentle even if that’s what the books and the therapists say

The university psychologist is training you to assist your students and people around you who are suicidal “I don’t want to die but I want to be with her so much”

To the olive tree with the nose-shaped bark, “Are you gonna die too?”


She was heartbroken every day

Several times a day

“I forgive you” – who the fuck said that?

Heartbreak for all the people who died All the chemos and the funerals And the vomiting on the purple carpet in the bathroom and the bad breath

Of coma    the yellow teeth Of words non said    the non-last-words Because some don’t know they’re gonna die Or their spouses can’t imagine Or their kids don’t believe it Or their aging parents are not told

“Teach us,” her students asked, “Teach us how to overcome homesickness”


How you die: By breaking your head waking up every night at 3am on the couch after too much chocolate By crashing on the floor on the balcony staring at the moon right before sunrise, falling down hard on your back, and breaking vases at your guest’s house overlooking the cupole of Rome, where you’re not from but it’s the closest you can get By poisoning yourself with scars

How you stay alive: By holding hands and crying with your dead grandmother’s friend, the woman who, within the past few weeks, lost her husband of old age and her son of an accident at work in the fields By visiting cemeteries and ghosts on two continents, sun light warm on the tombs, stones, oranges, incense, cempasúchil By one week in November running down the hill, playing with the dead

Marina Romani, "Three Poems About Homesickness" © 2019 Marina Romani.

From The Dreaming Machine 4 (2019)


bottom of page