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Paul Hostovsky


Flirting with the Deaf

I’ve been watching you watching the
interpreter. She is just to the left of the
speaker, and always slightly behind
so that you are always slightly behind
too, your face registering surprise
when the surprise has already been,
your smile on the heels of the other smiles,
your laugh coming after the wave of
laughter subsides. I love the lag time, the
pause between word and sign, the space
between signifier and signifier and
signified. I want to slip inside that space and sit
across from you, legs crossed, hands
folded in my lap, or no, on second thought,
tented in the air between us.

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, The Writer's Almanac, and the Best American Poetry blog.

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