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on home

Nikki Visciglia 

touching down in a strange city for the second time,

you remember the streets like it is the other half of your heart.


still remain—

the uneven cobblestone sidewalks,

the alimentari with the kind attendee who shares his smoothie with you,

the street vender who you haggled with for the opal ring that one time.


when you pick your mother up from the train

a small twinge of pride swells inside your chest—

an iris blooming big and bold—

as you take her to piazze she’s never dreamed of,

churches she’s only heard of briefly from you,

a shop that bakes schiacciata, aroma spilling out onto the streets.


the familiar florentine rhythm pulsates from the ground and into your body,

only allowing yourself to be grounded,

to come back down from the high of newness,

with her.


after you drop your mother off at the train station,

you meander the streets like it is your childhood home in the dark

hop over a dead bird


sun beating it into the sidewalk,

guts open for all the world to see.


you begin to weep openly,

big hot tears streaming down your face.

italians somehow stare and avert their eyes at the same time,

in awe of the staniere breaking the most cardinal rule—

the performance of la bella figura at all times.

but here you are, existing,

guts open for all the world to see.


when you call your mother,

she asks if you forgot something.



well yes—

just how good it feels to hear your voice.”

Nikki Visciglia is a writer + artist living in the Hudson Valley, NY.

She has written for online publications such as The Financial Diet and ThoughtCatalog. Nikki has a BA in Sociology and is currently a server at her hometown's diner, while thinking about the intersection between feminism and blue/pink collar work. This is her debut poetry publication.

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