Je Ne Parle Pas
by Mary Leonard


My daughter says I don’t have
an ear
for language, should not speak

in foreign lands, not even
simple words,
no merci, no scusa.

I hold up two fingers,
nod
and slip into small places

an insect, insidious
gesturing
my way in and out,

sometimes stinging in
Spanglish
sometimes landing on a

stranger’s arm
fluttering
a kiss to my existence.






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