Posts Tagged ‘Liliana Gandolfini’

For Liliana, For a Time to Come

Liliana watches the face on the screen.
She listens to the gruff voice of a man
she does not know and shrugs.

Liliana, older now, watches the face more carefully.
She has come to know the lines drawn around his smile.
His voice, coming to her across the years,
sounds into the unexplored depths of her memory,
its Jersey croon stirring a part of her brain
that refuses to wake, stunted as it was in its infancy.
She knows only this version now:
signals of data, preserved for her and millions of others,
reproduced through electric pulses,
an echo without origin.
She is sad, but she cannot place it.

In each scene, live bits of him,
traces of his character displayed in actor-hyperbole:
a fist to break an enemy’s nose,
a hand to caress a lover,
and every shade in between.
With what she knows and what she observes,
Liliana cobbles together an image of her father,
tries to look beyond the veil of art to see something true.

Liliana tires of the endless questions,
hates faking the gravity of her emotions.
Her love for her father’s work is not a private thing.
She humors the admirers and the family friends and the reporters,
all praising some hidden ideal which she can’t understand.
She just wants to know her dad.
Instead, she has had to settle for the vicarious parenting of Tony Soprano,
watch with jealousy as his fake children endure his fake moods,
while she can’t remember the feel of his kiss on her cheek,
can only imagine how his eyes filled with tears the first time he saw her.
Liliana is bitter of his legacy.

Yet she loves him, somehow.
Perhaps she too acts it out,
willing the primal blood-bond to reach back
and recreate the eight months she had with him,
leaving an impression that calms her like a father’s love,
assuring in its ubiquity.
Liliana has peace when the screen blinks off
and the fantasies stop attempting to fill his void.
Because when she smiles,
she knows it is his smile.

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