Written and Translated by Lucrezia Iussi

An ARTicle is, first of all, a game. It’s a game we’ve all played at some point, sitting on a museum armchair, or looking at the pictures in an Art textbook. It is short and quick text that tells a story we imagined while looking at an artwork. It is intended to be read with one eye, while the other is looking at the picture that gave the spark. You’ll find out, then, that a thousand stories can originate from the same source. All of them true and all of them invented.

The memory has been haunting me since you left. I still smell the river on my skin, the cold bites my eyes, your weary fingers hold on to my coat. I can still feel their hang on me, as if to mark my arm with your mother love. I see the lights of the city shining on your tired face, your eyes always on me, as if you had to inspect every detail of my body, to imprint it in your mind: you already knew it was the last time.

You asked me to gaze at the night together and to walk close to the water surface even though your legs were nearly giving way and I satisfied your wish, without saying a word, and I carried you all the way, just as you did when I was a child. I should have said something, but I decided to prepare myself to your absence with silence, thinking it would have been easier, then, to move alone between the cold rooms of this too big of a home. It wasn’t.

I close my eyes and I see the stars reflected in the black water. I see you and me, two shadows so close together that they look like one, I see the boats docked at the pier and I feel your calm and deep breath, your mother scent surrounds me and now I know I’ve always been a child, I know that my heart has always and only been the heart of a “son”, even when I tried to run away from this name and I built around myself a faraway life; and you were always waiting for me. You knew I’d come back, and your arms were open for me, your eyes always staring at the door. So do I now, every morning, even if it’s silly and childish, because the dead don’t come home.

At night, I come back on the Rhône and I try to recreate that night, I whisper useless apologies in the light air and I picture your kind smile as an answer, in the shape of a black wave. However, the sound of the water covers my voice and your smile shatters on the bank. I remain alone looking at the stars and I realise, now that you’re gone, that I don’t know who I am anymore.


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