- By Erri De Luca, translated by Jim Hicks
One summer after another, I come back to swim in the Mediterranean. I throw my arms over my head, swimming backstoke, my face to the air. I push with my feet and I’m off.
I come back to rinse off my tongue, teeth, and gums with a sip or two. I breathe some water in through my nose and smell its odor, down in my throat.
It's not the same sea, no longer itself. It’s not the sea that shipwrecked Jonah, Ulysses, Aeneas, Paul the Apostle, and Shelley. Back then the sea would warn sailors, who heard its message and sought shelter.
Now it’s a sea that drowns without tempests. It can’t warn with clouds or the flight of seagulls. Now ships pass by the shipwrecked and, impassive, continue their journey. Never before has cowardice shown itself so...