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Diary of a Lettuce Connoisseur by Jessy Randall
published in Volume 10, Issue 3 on December 31st, 2003

The best lettuce
I ever tasted
was on a spring afternoon
at the Mark Hotel,
after a Moliére play.

I did not pay for it --
Mrs. Newman,
my city friend's mother,
paid for everything:
tickets, salad, taxi ride.

The lettuce was
lightly bitter, brightly
green, dressed on arrival,
invisibly delicious.

Today, however
was a bad day for lettuce.
I was given, at lunch,
a depressed swiss cheese
sandwich, the lettuce
browned, drippy, oozing
lettuce juice every time
I took a bite.

Pale lettuce stains
drooled in little circles
onto the pages of my book.
I kept eating,
grimacing at the drips,
rearranging my sandwich
every few moments,
cramming the lettuce
back into the roll.

How much happier
I would be if only
I were not a connoisseur
of lettuce! I could
avoid disappointment
at every lunch.

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