Conjunction: a poem for two tongues.
For you, father, even after thirty years in America, Pittsburgh is still Bittsburg, New Jersey is New Cherz, garbage is carpage.
Driving with you through Southern California in our squeaky red truck you would have the radio blaring a Tijuana station, R-r-radio Calli, and you would say, they had Italian stations in Bittsburg.
When you heard Spanish or Portuguese in the park you would stop, speak Italian to them, any immigrant a brother. Afterwards, I would ask what you talked about. You would say, I didn't understand them.
Home from college on break I would try my book-learned Italian. You would wince, reply in English.
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|Date:||Mar 1, 2004|
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