I’d Like to Buy a Vowel

A Memorandum on Charlie Hebdo

You tell me conversations are like minefields as Mom sizzles bacon and grease pops across the counter
I tell you I’m broke playing Wheel of Fortune
Mom points to the table with a sing-song “sit”

Salt and pepper compliment eggs but who thanked the chef?

Mom prays for the pig that gave us bacon, the farmer who grew our chocolate, the father who gave her a kid, the kid who gives her love


Give me an “L”


Louis Armstrong is cut off by the crackle of breaking news
The DJ says a dozen killed in the name of silence
Mom turns it off, closes her eyes, hums a soft reflection, looks at me

Toast tastes good with bitter orange jam but I need more sugar
Our cupboard is bare

“They’re misunderstood,” I whisper
You tell me to eat a dick and I glare at you
Mom changes the topic with a flick of her wrist


Give me a “V”


Speech is always free if you can see the subtext.
Words will always hurt if you let them.
You don’t get to choose your readership.

I find a little sugar near the coffee
Louis returns to the radio until further notice
What a wonderful world
I think to myself as sugar sweetens jam

Write so that everybody loves.
Read so that everybody lives.

“What’s wrong with comics?”
“What’s wrong with taste?”
“Whose side are you on?!”

I ask for a vowel. You say pay up.


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