“Red Herring,” by Tomás Q. Morin, appeared in NER 32.2 (2011).
I say “my love” in a reluctant French,
even though I hate the French, not the people
who never did me harm, just the nectar-hearted
sounds of mon amour, mon chérie, that always
live in the right mouth on the brink
of tumbling into beauty, a sad truth
revealed to me when I overheard a socialite
ordering a café noisette on the Champs-Élysées
with the same river of honey
spilling from the lips of a street vendor
offering directions to the nearest toilet.