Campari and Soda*
By Lynnell Edwards
Make it like the Italy you’ve always
Imagined. Think: piazza. Think: ciao
Bella. Think: garnet alchemy
of root and herb and time. Ignore
the cocktail crowd, hot and rumpled;
ignore the hangers-on beginning
to stagger and slur; ignore the jerk
in the stained tie who wants to know:
What’s the red stuff sweetie?
Think: tiled verandas, slim linen suits.
Ignore the bitterness at your lips; say:
Trade secrets. Bene. Exquisite.
*from the book “The Highwayman’s Wife” (Red Hen Press, 2007)
Book Smart Challenge
Entries — either flash fiction or poetry — should be no more than 325 words. The deadline is the first business day of each month (for work to be published later that month). Contestants may submit up to three entries per month. LEO reserves the right to publish any submitted work in print and online. Please do not send originals; work will not be returned. Send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Book Smart Challenge” in the subject line, or mail to LEO, Book Smart Challenge, 640 S. Fourth St., Ste. 100, Louisville, Ky., 40202.