In Montreal, everyone is bilingual,
shifting from French to English and back
without even noticing they have translated for Karen
and satisfied my need for their language.
I am starved from the lack.
except for Carole
a French woman somehow landed
on Montreal streets who struggles through
each English phrase,
Karen encourages her to
just speak French, it's too painful to listen
to her English.
and as she grinds through endless explanations
of how to operate a microwave, or how not
to pull too hard on the washing machine door,
I encourage her to
just speak English