Palermo by Michelle Reale

So many things can happen out of the country. Take for instance the indecision inherent in choosing just one flavor from a display of gelato. I could be so simple, really, if the world would just let me. I give instructions to newcomers. Point to the flavor you like. Ignore the roll of the eyes. Hold out several inscrutable coins in the palm of your moist, delicate hand. Dare them to take what they want. Feign surprise when they do. Lean over a wrought iron balcony and let your paper serviette drift over the heads below, like an emissary of some misbegotten peace. Watch it stick to the shoe of a gentleman with no discernible place to go. Chew with your mouth open. Pretend not to understand when you really do. Contemplate the vagaries that follow you wherever you might find yourself. There is a baroque candlestick burning in someone’s window, but, surely, it is not for you.


Michelle Reale is an academic librarian on faculty at Arcadia University, in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in a variety of venues including elimae, Smokelong Quarterly, Eyeshot, The Los Angeles Review, JMWW and others. She was included in Dzanc’s Best of the Web 2010. Her chapbook Natural Habitat was published by Burning River Press in 2010.

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