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Useful Everyday Phrases

Can I build a fire here?

Can you help me?

I don’t understand.

I’m lost.

My God.

Sunday, Monday, Pentecost

Could you wait here for me and take me back?

Where can I get the boat to Sirmione?

My son is missing.

He has fair hair.

My son is missing.

It hurts all the time.

It stings.

It aches.

My son is missing.

It hurts more at night.

It hurts here.

My son is missing.

It hurts when you touch it.

I think you should see a doctor.

You need a prescription for that.

Please stop here.


KELLE GROOM is the author of four poetry collections, Spill, Five Kingdoms, Luckily (Anhinga Press), and Underwater City (University Press of Florida). Her memoir, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl (Simon & Schuster), was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. Her work has appeared in AGNI, American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Ploughshares, and Poetry Magazine. She is on the faculty of the low-residency MFA Program at Sierra Nevada College, Lake Tahoe, and director of education programs at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.


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