Dancing to Perfidia – Poem #15

The Hotel Torino – Massawa, Eritrea built by the Fascists when Eritrea was an Italian colony.  In 1960s it had a roof top bar; 20 year old Toritto  misspent a portion of his youth in Eritrea and had many a drink on this very roof.  If you get there have a drink for me.


Red Sea breeze and indigo sky
pierced by a full moon hanging
like the Christmas lights
strung above the roof top bar.

Potted palm fronds, barely moving;
pretty young things, different colors
chocomocha café latte
Italian band plays thirties favorites.

Transported to another time
sitting now where dead men sat
hot breeze off eternal sea
they dreamed of home, of Italy.

Il Duce’s portrait here no longer
“Campari soda piacere”
gone the dusty dream of glory
I’m dancing to Perfidia.



About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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1 Response to Dancing to Perfidia – Poem #15

  1. beetleypete says:

    I remember this one, Frank. It captures the heady days of Italian colonialism so well.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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