The East Village

Tony Towle

Red Pens

The little Hispanic girl at the stationer's
on Park Avenue South just now
asked me my name, and repeated Tonio
when I replied Tony. Estranjero? Is 
he a foreigner she asked her 
embarrassed mother,
the proprietor, as I was leaving with
the red pens I had bought 
for editing English but now
used to delete the No,
fue nacido acqui
I had been about to say,
to show that I too was a native.