by Adrian Slonaker

She focused on him fingering microfilm

at the Minnow Way Community Library,

mesmerized by grainy coupons for milk long expired

and clips depicting cake walks and

euchre clubs in 1959.

Clad in a charcoal cardigan and tapered tan trousers,

he played the foil for her formless flowing lilac,

olive, and blood orange muslins, mismatched fugitives from a

boho mosh pit.

She beamed affably, flashing a phalanx of crooked teeth.

Nodding with indifference,

he retreated within a terrapin's shell

blackened with bruises, scraped by scratches,

and toughened by time like leather left under a geode.

He bolstered his mistrust of her intrusive warmth with

a megadose of misanthropy

but wasn't made of muscovite mica.

When she coaxed him,

he crawled forth.



Adrian Slonaker zig-zags back and forth across the Canadian/US border and works as a copywriter and copy editor. Adrian's work has been nominated for Best of the Net and has appeared in Pangolin Review, Come and Go Literary, Algebra of Owls, Aerodrome and others.