Skip to main content

Listen on Spotify

I remember the afternoons
At the sidewalk tables of the same old café
With the wicker chairs keepers of the worst secrets of my youth
When life was the human-sized buildings
The “where you going in such a hurry?”
Those boring familiar faces chatting on the street
The cars taking a walk
The scent of skin hit by the sun
The rusty shutters rolled down during the three-course lunch break
The fumes of ragù rising up to the sky
‘Cause the gods asked for a taste
Those afternoons I thought that was it

Then there I was
After trains, buses and planes
For eleven hours on a coach
On my way to Victoria, full of hope
In a land where their pedestrian road is my motorway

Of a devastating beauty is London at night
While my hometown reminds me
Of my mother when she holds me tight
My friends’ car running on the street
So small it made me feel big
Yet I let those mother’s arms cuddle me still
As my mother, she was my enemy and my goddess
And only now that I’m away I can clearly see both in their oddness

You can’t get a new life, but you can pick a second one
Forever split between who you’ve become
And who you feel you were and will always be
When you smell the plaster of your childhood home
Switching between lives like coats

My homeland keeps me dry and warm
Like the love she gave me
And the drought she left in my mouth
When she had nothing more to give
With the air clouded by the heat
By that ignorance, bliss and sin
The earth burned by the sun
The feelings and passions flaring in the wind
A salty breeze tickles my skin
While I drink beer and bite into a slightly charred focaccia
Down at the Chiringuito, on the shimmering sea
The stench of sausage and other crap comes from the stalls
The smoke wraps me up, keeps me enthralled
Sweaty men shout
Their wives in flashy colours drive heels into your little toes
Pushing prams, they hit your legs
Shoving as if they were at an AC/DC concert
Tryna start rows
It’s St. Nicholas Day
And here I am, gasping and panting and stretching my neck
With my 5ft two, unable to understand where they’re all going
Screaming and laughing and pushing and shoving
Towards an unreachable, unfathomable
Unknown destination, an invisible speck

London sends shivers down my spine
Her best isn’t all that makes me love her
Her worst isn’t enough to hate her
They intertwine
From Canary Wharf to Hackney
Artificial paradises lead way to natural underworlds
I should have known from day one
From Notting Hill to Clapham
Caught between diverse realities
That never quite meet each other
Of a city with one name
And a thousand personalities
All of them as true
As my words when I said “I belong to you”
They’re the different faces of a medal
That would be nothing but a necklace
If you only looked at one side
Getting to see them all is the prize

And yet
Every two Sundays I call my mum to tell her I’ll come home soon
That’s what I told my friends that day on the platform too
I’ve been telling myself I’ll come home
I’ve been telling myself I got one
Though at times it seems I got two
At times it seems I got none
The white London sky sheds all the tears I don’t cry
This thing wetting my eyes must be the sea in my mind
Or the fact that I see mafia being romanticised
When that’s one of the reasons why
I chose to go live under another sky
Home, home, home
What’s home?
Is it where you got your be
Where your heart gets fed
Or where you won’t end up dead?
Am I happy or just content?
Does the perimeter around me really matter
Or is it that I’m a restless nomad and my soul’s been scattered
All over the world?
And now here I am, looking for its pieces here and there
The same smells and views that told me to go away
Tell me to come back
Age changed the features of my face
Third eye opened up
Perceptions must’ve been out of whack

For years I’ve had to mix, shake and pour
To get myself two degrees and for them to see their glass half full
And yet come asking for more
When I come home, I mix, shake and pour
My ink on paper to get ’em drunk with my words
But there’s too little sugar and too much spiced rum
So I drink ’em all myself and feel sick on my own
In the morning I used to go dig into kids’ brain for gold
I found a lot, but not all of them wanna give it to the world
Sometimes I stop and wonder what I’m doing all this for
Like that morning my mama called me
To tell me there was a killer outside her door
That it might enter anytime
In weeks, months, now or tomorrow
And all I could do was stay there
Powerless, unable to run to her
The next time I saw her she had a kidney less
And 80% of disability more
I might not know what, but I know who I’ve been doing this for
And every two Sundays I tell her I’m coming home

Connect with Prudenza Lacriola on Instagram