“The Most Beautiful Petrol Station in the World” by Oscar Mardell

Kate Shaw, Confuga, 2017.jpeg

Art by Kate Shaw



It is the Fiat Tagliero building 

in Asmara, Eritrea, planned

by Giuseppe Pettazzi, fascist aesthete,

and built under his watch in thirty-eight.


On either side the central concrete spire,  

are fifteen-metre cantilevered wings,

the premature arrival of a future

long expired, and stationed in Asmara,


Eritrea. Some bureaucrat insists

this soaring flight must rest, during construction,

on state-approved supports. Pettazzi asks,

Have you no faith? Have these removed, or I 

              will build out here Asmara’s own Golgotha,

                          will make apocrypha of Little Rome.







Oscar Mardell is a writer and Teacher from Auckland, New Zealand whose work has been published in ‘The Literary London Journal’, ‘War, Literature and the Arts’, ‘3:AM’, ‘DIAGRAM’, ‘Terror House’, ‘March Vladness’, ‘Queen Mob’s Teahouse’, and ‘RIC’.