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April 1, 2012 vol 8 no 1

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Margaret Dornaus


My father's voice is rich and deep as he keeps up his stream of commentary. There's the Eiffel Tower, girls. There's the Place de la Concorde. That's Paris, the City of Light, at night. He is speechless only once, when the film speeds ahead to the forgotten image of a young brunette posed before a sidewalk cafe. Her hair flips up in perfect symmetry on each side of her delicate face. And she is wearing a smile that can only be described as winsome.

jump cut . . .
the Mediterranean
floods the paper screen

A second later, my mother is snapping her fingers to wake me. My father hushes her, picks me up, and carries me to my room. Alone, I cast the names of foreign places out on whispered speech, breaking each word into syllables, each syllable into sounds; curling and uncurling my tongue until the strangeness wears off, until the names become as familiar as my own.

shadow dance
all the places I have
yet to see