3rd Place - July 2013

All the way dark to NDG

we went to the grocery store on Avenue du Parc first thing
since couples like us cooked pushed massive shopping carts
debated organic versus regular kale or spinach but who knew
your fridge was not cold enough to keep meat not you not me

when sex starts to go wrong in a city this blue&pink neon well
time to tossé la serviette maybe buy a dozen Fairmount bagels
limp in and limp out but thank St. Johnny Baptiste we split up
enough times that autumn to maintain sanity touch new flesh

one night walking home from Plan B Bar via Rue Clark and
seeing that naked woman washing her dishes at her window
I biked back at two a.m. to see was she there and still perfect
where did old Leonard Cohen go now that Ben’s Diner closed

and neither of us cared for Irving Layton or Raymond Souster
Wolf Parade over played and Arcade Fire biked Rue Jeanne-Mance
St. Urbain calmer for walking at night than St. Joseph or St. Laurent
maybe St. Dominique or up Mont-Royal but no not Maisonneuve

Plateau Mile End the hip kids lived in St. Henri called it the Hen
if only a 9 to 4 was bearable how hard can it be to be a waiter
harder than selling shoes at Sports Experts on St. Catherine
yes much harder Buena Notte Taro Sushi Gogo Lounge all red

post shift and we are fighting all the way home twelve rounds TKO
but worth it for those fine fine mornings of coffee and bagels?
at Bagel Etc. this time throats parched from last night your next
shift starts in four hours and maybe we and Souster are both OK

loud Americans at Hurley’s but here at Barmacie here at Pistol
sex everywhere not just at Le Club Downtown next to the Gap
or Kamasutra or yes Super Sexe beside Mike’s do the francophone
bars play louder music than the anglophone ones or is that just me

you leave work early with Mel and I go for a walk to Parc La Fontaine
how far east can I go Joliette Pie IX and get back before midnight
if it mattered since you are not back yet so I amble up to Fairmont
Cote-St-Catherine up to Cote-Des-Neiges all the way dark to NDG

~ Nate Szymanski