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I Dream of Speaking Italian

so obvious things were falling apart when I had to walk up the street with a plateful of red pesto dressing to find out what had happened to my salad, though my haute couture dress — an off the shoulder taffeta Gina Lollobrigida little number in wine and black — was particularly appropriate for the restaurant, the army of Italian men appearing / disappearing through doors, but I couldn’t find the one in the silver suit who’d approved of my choice of sun-blush tomatoes, roasted aubergines, peppered salami, and had to speak to a woman with black eyebrows who was busy stacking up billowing leaves of oversized lettuce — radicchio, sweetheart, frisée — so I decided on a sandwich instead, buffalo mozzarella and black olives on ciabatta, and no, not toasted, or open, just give me the bloody sandwich will you, banging my fists on the glass counter, attracting the attention of a ginger-headed freckled Italian in pinstripes who smiled too much when he apologised, glanced down at my shoes. It was then I knew I should have listened to you, gone for the cheese and tomato on white, a bag of crisps, half a lager and lime, but I couldn’t resist the temptation of those slippery slices and curls and it’s not that I want to be different, look, we both have those little knots in the tendons at the back of our heels, and even though you say you wouldn’t, I know you’d love those studs of green peppercorn firing your tongue, oh yes dancing over the roof of our mouths

like firecrackers
the dreams we have
the dreams we never had


Modern Haiku, Autumn 2009

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