House Trilogy and The Life of Others

by Piero Toto

How to Address an Absence

The outline of shadows reveals

we’re born undone in the depth

of dreams in a zigzag of grunts

reflecting the silence we make 

In this kingdom of vowels

stretching in foreign tongues 

I turn around to feel who’s

inside me in separate rooms

Through darts of light

like a promise of thunders

a chipped lip reminds me 

all I taste is eclipses of hate

the life of Others 

– for Tom –

your smile turns

asphalt into lakes

islands of seclusion

rumbling like

tortured queens

playing hide & seek

we ask distracted

what am I to you?

a chin against 

an empty bone

a blue spider

chewing truth

the world’s a tide

awash with wounds

rippling back when

fed on loneliness


Piero Toto (he/him) is a translation lecturer and an Italian translator from London (UK). He is the author of articles on masculinity, queer language and translation pedagogy. He writes poetry in English and Italian: his poetry in English currently appears in Seek Poetry and harana poetry. His debut Italian poetry pamphlet, “tempo 4/4”, is out with Transeuropa Edizioni. Find him on Twitter @tradutoto and Instagram poetotter