Cliff Fell

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In Defense of the New Zealand Fuck

And we’ve all drunk just enough to agree with her
when she says in the backroom of the Bodega,

No one says fuck as sweetly as the Americans —
no other people in the world say the word
with such love or tenderness.

Think of it, she says:
you’ve been so fucking wonderful,
I don’t know how the fuck to thank you . . .

It seems she has a point. We consider
the other fuckers, how the Brits reserve
their fuck for anger or malice,
the Aussies for contempt and friends and beer.

And of we in these thin islands? —
it’s also true: no one says it quite like us,
declaiming it in the adrenaline rush
or tones of awe, or the voice of simple wonder.

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