Old & Strong | Robert Gibbons

Instead of new shoes, I opted for inner soles & laces, which carried me all the way down Eastern Promenade, many Americans wondering why a guy my age is still hoofing it with black canvas bag slung over his shoulder wearing the same color corduroy suit, white shirt, green tie on a warm May day. I’m rich! Stop into Micucci’s, where Stephen Lanzalotta, direct descendent of a long line of sworn-to-secrecy knights praises my attire. Rick helps me find the ruby Malbec, giving me another twenty-five percent off simply because it wasn’t the label I sought. Mark taps me on the shoulder saying it’s good to see me, & the cashier flirts with the guy she thinks reminds her of Jack Nicholson. Work up a sweat walking into the coolness of conglomerate coffee, but don’t buy anything, just sit by the window reading Proust & James Wright. Wright likes the way natives of Verona silence any tourist who may interfere with the music played in the amphitheater, & Marcel has merely to jot the letters of the words Venice or Florence to stand physically in their imaginings. My tie off, buttons unbuttoned, I didn’t mean to show off the tattoos of Kathleen’s initial, & Chinese characters for dance & man standing by his word, so I button back up. Cooled off enough, march in black up to Elm, where the idiot bus driver is scamming dollar bills into a little cashbox, causing him to roar down Forest like a madman, & ultimately run past my stop with a jolt & false apology. But, at one red light along the way, way before that, I spotted a cornerstone of granite so old & strong that it balanced two buildings at once, & became a cistern of tears for the bricks, alive, & weeping above it in the heat.

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commentary | poetry | fiction | chicago | winter 2008  
Single Life #8 | Amy Groshek 
Parallel Conservatory | Clare Kirwan
Old & Strong  |  Robert Gibbons
Crow | Ramesh Avadhani
Driving Ninety | Mark Spencer
With Her Own Things | Kristiana Colón
Story of a Hall Porter | Edward Mc Whinney
The Halcyon Days of War | B.E. Hopkins
Three Stories | Laurence Davies

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