Italians live with this very strong belief that the amount of hatred you feel towards your partner in a romantic relationship is equitable to the amount of love you have for them. This love/hate courtship shows itself as a couple fights in the town piazza, two actors performing for the crowd. There is no shame in public. She smacks him across the face for whatever wrong he did, or he’s screaming at her, an inch from her nose, vile insults are sprayed at each other, he grabs her arm a little too hard when she walks away, it’s all very beautiful to them. This same scene placed in an American coffee shop or mall would be a hideous sight for us. We keep these spectacles for our private homes and whisper the results to our best friend’s weeks later. But here in Italy, I imagine the onlookers thinking, “Che forte amore.” What strong love. “Ti amo o ti ammazzo”: it was a hit pop song on the top 40 countdown last summer in Florence, but it represents this concept that the Italians have been living with forever, probably. “I love you or I kill you”.
Print & Digital Issues
Featuring: Issue 108, published October 2023, features works of poetry, flash fiction, short nonfiction, and visual art by Seo Jin Ahn, Elya Braden, Lawrence Bridges, Leslie Brown, Brian Bruso, Mark Anthony Burke, James Butcher, Lila Byrne, Anne Champion, Lorraine Hanlon Comanor, Cami DuMay, David Fowler, Ed Gaudet, Helen Geld, Christianne Goodwin, Michael Loyd Gray, Jen Hirt, Stanley Horowitz, Brandyce Ingram, Juyanne James, Anaïs La Rocca, Francesco Levato, Jim Linnell, Glen A. Mazis, Pahadisoul, Jim Ross, Aarron Sholar, Abigale Tabor, Joseph Vickery, Ann Weil, Sharon Whitehill, Holly Willis, and Stephen Curtis Wilson.