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Friendship/Love

(Read author interview) March 15, 2006

Friendship/Love

A bronze pony stands in the park, right by the city wall. Other parents help their children climb up. My grandma is feeding sparrows crumbs of rye bread.

Sandra and I are playing hide and seek. I sit on leathery leaves behind an oak tree and wait for her to find me. The leaves are dry, but the dirt underneath is muddy. My skirt is damp.

A thin woman in a short green coat is talking to my grandma. I think she is my mother. I crouch and pick up smooth, cool acorns. I choose only the ones with their caps on. The woman leaves.

I turn the rooster on the cathedral’s spire with my eyes.

Love/Friendship

Excuse moi,” I read from a piece of paper. “Rue Rolland?

The man’s scarf is grapefruit pink. His large mouth is framed by thin lips. I don’t understand a word he says.

Shoshana is a Russian Israeli living in Paris. She writes opaque poetry in English. Her earlobes are like raindrops. I met her in Toronto and invited myself in. I do not have money for a hotel, but I have a book of e.e. cummings for Shoshana.

I climb five flights of stairs. My bag hits my knees from behind. I am out of breath.

A short, scruffy man with a glass of wine in his hand motions me to come in. In the middle of the smoke-filled room someone sprawls asleep on the floor under a thin gray blanket. The sofa is litered with papers, cigarette butts, a pair of white underwear, and a plate with a half eaten tomato.

“Shoshana is out,” says the man. He winks at me and slurps his wine.

This story appeared in Issue Twelve of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Twelve
ornament

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