Rain staggers down the café windows like soot-stained tears over a cheek.

I hiss air through milk. Lament the croissants suffocating under glass, the buck seventy-five in my tip jar.

You take the stage. Belly-button ring glinting, a target for magpies and the boys in your class who hate you for getting more pussy than them.

Black bangs frame cheek bones cut from the rising rock of Nippissing. You slouch over the mic and


Even me, leaning across the counter, foot sore for centuries with nothing but white noise in my ears,

hears you.

Soul grunts quake and crack the porcelain cups.

We snap our fingers as you cut yourself open again and again, reawake wounds, angry mouths, each with a story to tell.

After, you push a postcard across the bar


I take it, hands sticky with your blood.

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