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How to be a Native New Yorker.

Diana Poon

You don’t gotta be born here.

But you gotta respect that

You don’t gotta be born here.

At the local Hot Bagels & Bialys

(& heroes & lox & blintzes & pizza & potato

knishes), a genial Columbian cashier

calls out amid the amiable yammering

of Polish-American retirees.

Miss Nowicki! You look beautiful today!

She answers with silence

and a smile, demure and self-respecting.

The owner and manager, a grandfatherly 

Russo-Orthodox Jew with an iconic monobrow

just shakes his head and continues to wipe

the icebox stocked with yoohoos and fraps.

Don’t listen to him! yells Edna, thoroughly envious.

“He says that to everyone!” (he said it to her,

earlier). “Doesn’t matter who or where

or even if you look like a gutter rat after Sandy! 

He says we’re all beautiful!”

© 2017-2019 by Curlew Quarterly. 

Curlew Quarterly - 333 Hudson Street, Suite 303, New York, NY 10013 - 212-804-8655 - Info@CurlewQuarterly.com.

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