(napoli, september 1970)
Their cheeks were fresh and tender
and kissed maybe for the first time.
Seen from behind, when they turned
to return to the gentle group, they were more adult,
with overcoats over light trousers. Their poverty
forgets it's a cold winter. Their legs a little bowed
with collars frayed like their older brothers',
already discredited citizens. Still, for some years
they're priceless: and there can't be anything humiliating
in one who can't be judged. For, since they do it
with so much incredible naturalness, offering themselves to life,
life asks for them. They're so ready for it!
They give back kisses, tesing the novelty.
Then they leave as undisturbed as they came.
But since they're still full of trusting that life loves them,
they make sincere promises, project a promising future
of hugs, and kisses as well. Who could make the revolution
—if ever one needed to make it—if not them? Tell them so: they're ready,
all in the same way, just as they hug and kiss
with the same smell on their cheeks.
But it won't be their trust in the world that will triumph.
That's what the world must ignore.
1969. Translated by Jack Hirschman
from In Danger
A Pasolini Anthology
edited, with an introduction
by Jack Hirschman
(City Lights Books 2110)