M. Nasorri Pavone

Issue No. 19 • Spring 2018


Weekdays at one o’clock she sprints
from her office to the café across the street.
The serving staff knows her by name
though not the one on her credit card.
Here comes Triple Martini, calls out the bartender
at one o’clock as he watches her jaywalk
and almost get hit. Do you want to take care
of her?
the servers ask each other.
Triple Martini is in your station again.  
You don’t have to if you don’t want to.  

The staff is good about rotating the regulars.
If Triple Martini were to be interviewed by
Vanity Fair, she’d admit that the first
sip of her first martini rivals the sight
of it surfing on a tray across the room
to meet her, a smooth wave breaking
on a nude beach, rushing to her feet.
She’s not a beleaguered secretary, not if
she’s way up on the seventh floor.
She lifts her glass to salute a refill
while sucking on olives, extra olives filling
a bowl which she always offers to pay for.
She’d say the second martini tastes like
bliss, like sleeping late or sleeping all day.
She’d deny she orders the third,
the unraveling round – what pops back
to make her lashes leak that black?
She always asks for another napkin.

Women who don’t mind really do,
more often than they admit.

Minding, mending, middling, taking
a back seat on the long bus,

getting out to push it. Waiting.
Waiting by the side of the road

smiling, the smile as shield,
as deflector. She’s fine. She’s not

hysterical, although how else
will she get anyone to listen?

Certain displays are more acceptable:
a Martha Stewart centerpiece,

Waterford crystal punch bowl,
Vera Wang Wedgwood China.