MUSIC blasts from a second-hand stereo,
but you offer secrets in a whisper.
Our elbows touch under low lights.
The smoke from my cigarette forms a halo
over your head, but your words

tumble out fast. It’s un-angelic. The air
thickens as you speak of the long-legged
girl who calls you friend. You place a bottle
in front of me. I make a face. Bitterness
hits my tongue the moment you

call her names, recall her mistakes.
You laugh with glassy eyes and stare
at the bottles you’ve emptied. I realize
you are no different from her—
your hair escaping a dismantled ponytail.

The cigarette smoke stings my eyes.
I’m supposed to be walking away,
but I’m enjoying this.

Rose-An Jessica M. Dioquino

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Bringing the sublime out of the ordinary

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