you can’t say corner store?
my aspiring broadway singer roommate told me the owner of the corner store on the bottom floor of our inwood prewar cold water apartment building was from the united arab emirates. i swear he’s not. not that she would ever believe me, she didn’t believe me when i told her i have a photographic memory. she also said you don’t say corner store in new york. you say bodega, not bodega with a d, bodega with a day. this is where she lost me. you really can’t say corner store? on top of that, i pronounce corner like ‘coroner.’ but this all changed when i went into the bodega yesterday and ordered my usual coffee and bacon egg and cheese roll. i like to think that though the owner doesn’t know my name, he knows my face, since i go there 3 or 4 times a week. the television was showing a news report about the california drought and he spoke to me. the only time he ever spoke to me beyond the usual transactional stuff. to tell me that californians need to pray for rain because that's what they do when they have problems in yemen. i don’t know if this is true or not but this is how i know he is actually from yemen.
Gerard Manogue (he/him) is a poet from Southern California. He publishes his poems in little magazines. Follow him on Twitter @GerardManogue.