The Old Buenos Aires’ Shoeshine Man

Pietro Grieco


When he shines shoes,
speaks and gestures watermarks in the air,
it is habitual that his hands
resemble dreams of dreams unfulfilled–
But, what customer knows or guesses
behind that smile what polishes and burnishes
the tough desires of his memory?


Now, unshaved for days
on the sunny sidewalk of Florida Street
he sleeps. Yes, he sleeps in his summer smile
wrapped by the golden light of the winter sun.


Who is going to ask him to shine shoes?
The million people that daily flows past.
How? He has an infinite dream…
In it he runs now!
Runs and jumps on a prairie,
following swallows and countryside doves,
blue doves
while drunken orange blossoms perfumes,
caress his hair.


Even if the wax melts, the flannels fly
and the brushes walk,     who?
But who can awaken him
from such exclusive chimeral treasure?


Sadly, I never knew his name



Pietro Grieco


 Pietro Grieco is Doctor of Divinity, has an OBD in Administration Sciences, and a Master of Arts in Literature and Writing.  He taught at the Buenos Aires University and Belgrano University in Argentina, and  at the California State University San Marcos, CA.  Mr. Grieco wrote academic essays, poetry and seven books. Some of his articles on spirituality have been translated into German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. He resides with his wife Blanchette in Spain.




Imen Bennani


Threads, threads
the bobbins in the heads
Am doubting the beginnings
dreading the ends
shall I drink up love’s cup to the dregs?
Here I am standing
with the white thread
for dawn to break, to
tell me: “you are right”

would I break the fast
at sunset in that sea
with love dates and glasses of ecstasy?
Or pledge eternal abstinence and see?
Threads, threads,
the black ones and the reds
Emily Dickinson’s ‘yarn of pearl’
or Hafiz’ smiling faces at the deathbeds?
Should Ariadne have supplied Thesus with the thread?
left deserted on the island
found dead
threads, threads
and mine with God cut–
I miss Him so
need to quickly make a knot
and climb to Him
follow the thread
threads, threads,
would my mouth smell of smoke
and my lips taste wine?
Would there be traces
of squeezed grapes?
Methinks I’d want God to check my mouth
then smile and say,   

 “I am satisfied”



Imen Bennani is a Tunisian teacher and scholar. She graduated from the faculty of Arts of Sousse (Tunisia) where she worked as assistant and taught English Literature. Imen Bennani made her MA on the poetry of Emily Dickinson and is currently preparing her PhD on contemporary Arab American Poetry. She now works as researcher at CEREDICREC (The Center for Research and Studies in the Dialogue of Cultures and Comparative Religions), Sousse, Tunisia. Her fields of interest include American Literature, Arab Literature, and Literary translation.