the town was 4th avenue-restless, thunder booming like god tossing in bed while sleeping off a bender. for three weeks the sun had been a junkie’s promise and the flat was a zeppelin crash. the flies were biblical. jess looked at matt with eyes that were poison ivy as she took his gun from the freezer. she was 7 months along and had been for years. amanda was on thecouch, lighting one smoke off another and daydreaming of lottery tickets and restraining orders. tyler was in a sleeping bag toasting hash on a cigarette foil, a tear in his eye from the time melanie ran off with a cage fighter. and me? i was the tune you hum when nobody’s listening. I’d found ashley at a donut shop with jackalopes on walls the colour of hank williams’ coffin. she was an angel dragging her wings through puddles and wore a hangover like a wedding dress. i took her home where we had spam off paper plates and re-fought gettysburg on a mattress that only knew regret. we drifted off and when morning came this woman with hair like sunset through a glass of lager and a soul like a stepped-on peach was gone with a wad of twenties i kept in a sock. she had drawn a shaky heart on the mirror with lipstick. i looked through it as I dry shaved. outside, the watermains were having aneurysms and the rain was coating the buildings in flop sweat. I know I’ll get my money back. in this town nobody makes it past 8th street.


Richard-Yves Sitoski lives in the former industrial town of Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada.  He is a spoken word artist with two books of poetry, brownfields and Downmarket Oldies FM Station Blues, and a CD of spoken word verse, Word Salad.  He has a background in art theory and linguistics, and came within 8 years of completing a Ph.D. in Classical Studies. He makes disturbing sounds with guitars. richardsitoski.wordpress.com


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