SLEEPERS

All the porticoes, all the pavements spill over with sleepers. They are stretched out on the earth, against the columns, Against the walls, against the doorposts. Their rags envelop them entirely, smeared with filth. They are made up of youngster, boys, old men, and women with children. They sleep rolled up or stretched out, in their hundreds. Some of them are still awake, especially the boys: they pause to turn round or to speak quietly, seated at the door of a closed shop,or on the steps of a house. Someone stretches out at that moment and turns round in his sheet, covering his head. The whole street is full of their silence: and their sleep is similar to death. Yet to a death which, in its turn, is as gentle as sleep. Pier Paolo Pasolini