Poem for a Woman Who Can’t Pronounce the Word Avocado by Ryan Quinn Flanagan


It is not enough that you claim to have lived in
the same apartment complex as Jack the Ripper
for three long years even though ole Jackie
died more than a half century before you were born
and it doesn’t help that you keep telling people
at parties, claim it a conversation starter like
“where were you born,” and leave all your stockings
hanging over the shower rod like disembodied spirits
or that you drink right from the milk carton, how could this
be for anyone but you, this poem for a woman who can’t
pronounce the word avocado, the first couple times I thought
you were joking: Ov-a-kAto, and the silly way you would pace
around the place squeezing them like tension balls for the insane,
telling me that your mother was a priest and that you
were her church and me just nodding there in bed
like a fool beside you, wondering which morning you would finally
slice into me like one of your many Ov-a-kAtos
and how you’d get off light even though you stabbed me
159 times, because your mother was a priest who
could afford a good lawyer who would claim you were
sleep walking at the time and felt enough remorse
that you promised to never stab anyone
159 times ever again.


© 2019 Ryan Quinn Flanagan


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Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, BlogNostics, The Rye Whiskey Review, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.


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