top of page

Poverty is not a crime

Written by Silvia Pellegrino, Illustrated by Simona De Leo

We are what we eat, but what if we cannot afford food?

The cold light of the neon illuminates the aisles of a half-empty supermarket. I make my way following the lopsided wheels of the trolley and the confectionery department seduces me with exotic chocolates finely wrapped in gold and silver. I advance cautiously, taking refuge among the precious spices, so difficult to dose. This insular trip is all that remains of my spiritual hedonism. I crumble through the shelves in search of a glance, and I see humanity calibrating itself to its own purchasing power. Petrolates, silicones and parabens like mermaids sing of the deeds of men and women fighting against time. No one is allowed to grow old. I leave quickly and reach the Bio section, where I am seized by organic ecstasy. The underworld of the refrigerator department is revealed and the flesh in chains pulsates like the veins of doped gladiators. It is red and lustful, it calls to me. I invoke the mystery of seitan to my aid and this becomes man. He is very old, his face framed by a battered and dirty mask. He asks me the price of the bread. I answer and he looks at me. He says nothing and walks away with the empty basket. I remain motionless for a few seconds, shaken by that contact and somehow ennobled. I advance and the cashier nods at me. It’s time to pay. But something moves in the shadows. I change trajectory and I see it: the old man hidden behind a mountain of refined sugars, eating alone and without sin.


Meet the authors

bottom of page