Mornings here, I put my French on: underthings, white blouse, a tight skirt.
I dress letter by letter, I wear my accent comme ci.

To the fleuriste, I am charming
with my child-language-syntax,
the way I knock over with my draped elbows
glass shelves and vases, shatter
imperfect verbs.
Astonishingly, I know the word jonquille;
with azaliée, I get lucky.

Having said my piece, I clutch a madness of daffodils,
a profundity of azaleas. The bouquet rustles
and down the wet stairs, my shoes and skirt
click and swish. On the Metro
everyone is silent.

About the author

Lisa Allen Ortiz has been shot at on the mountains of Peru and held by INTERPOL on suspicion of drug smuggling in Columbia, but…

Read the full bio

Issue 11 · January 2011

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