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ISSUE:  Spring 1999
To the other high-rise residents the landlord
introduces me as Our Famous Madam
Writer. Reminds me to please try
the hot tub percolating in a tent
atop the roof, the water slimy
and lukewarm. Mid-May. Drumming
my nails on the balcony railing.
Roiling storm clouds blowing every
which way overhead—but no matter.
I’ve walked to the suburbs and back,
gathered larkspur and mock orange
to put my mind in the trees’ distance.
Now here are a few sneezes for the sunset.

And kneeling amid his daffodils,
the landlord calls up to me.
Lately he’s shortened my title to
Our Famous Madam. Truly a good
water, he says in English, pointing
above me, past the highest balcony.


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