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What I didn’t tell you about

was the forgotten

long-expired bag of lettuce

all the way in the back

looking bloodshot, 


tragic as a traffic 

accident under plastic,

that I came across 

in search of the Lombardy 

olives and goat cheese— 

and how, making a face,

I gingerly extracted 

the sodden, sealed, 

severed heads of Romaine 

from behind the chilling 

horizontal bottle of Chardonnay,

tossed them into the bin

with a dead-sounding thud, 

then washed my hands of them

before returning for the wine 

and cheese and olives,

and serving them up to you 

without a word of what I’d seen.


Paul Hostovsky's poems have won a Pushcart Prize, two Best of the Net Awards, the FutureCycle Poetry Book Prize, and have been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer's Almanac. Website:


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