Illusions/Delusions/betrayal

I must be home before sundown.  I must hurry.
We are all kept inside/or
are they all kept outside/
we are protected from them/or
are they protected from us. 

I am abraham levy della seta.
I am a jew.
My name tells that to all.
I am “of the silk” – della seta.

We have lived here over three hundred years.
I leave every morning
and yet I must hurry back at the end of each day.

My fabrics are fine enough for the pope’s raiment,
And yet I must live behind gates – away from civ dea.

Perhaps some day, before the closing of my gates, I shall
Walk where I want/
when I want
and be like them.


Perhaps the time has come.
The gates are open.
We can live where we want.
We can come and go as we please.

I am samuele pontecorvo della seta.
I am a jew.
They all come to buy their silk from me.

The store is still where it was, but that is all right. 
We can only keep our stores in the ghetto. 
I will open another store.
At least we can now live outside.
Everything takes time.

They are like us and we are like them.
They are my countrymen.


Was it so long ago that we lived here.
The gates are open.  We live at via paula.
castel sant’angelo fills our window.
Our balcony looks over san pietro.

I am giacomo pontecorvo della seta
I am a jew.
I am the first jew to attend the law faculty in rome.

My children … they shall be what they want.
They shall be like the others. 
They shall go where they want and do as they wish.


Where will we go tonight. 
we cannot stay here.
Perhaps mother Xavier will take us in.
We must be in doors before sundown/behind gates

I am Giovanni della seta.
I am an Italian.
I am a member of the fascist party.  We all are. We all were.
We were like all the others.

The stairs/they’re coming up the stairs/
Run/leave everything/
Laura and gian carlo are up stairs/

Run/ we cannot warn them/they will hear

I am a jew.
We are alone, together.  Together/alone.


The railcar door have opened
We’re being pushed out/being sorted out/
Where are we going.

I am alone.
Mama was taken with the women.
Papa was taken with the men.

I am Giovanni gian carlo della seta
I am a jew.
I am a student.
I am an Italian.

Where are did they take my parents/
Were are they taking me.

It is sundown.
The gate is closing/for me/
For the last time.

Jim Fornari