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inquisitively, you visited the glass and chrome makeup counters at sears till you matched the fragrance, sprayed it delicately on your own thick wrists. now you dab spots of the perfume on your throat, your tongue, inhaling her while you continue through her possessions. lip balms (mango, coconut), greasy and tropical. and a number fresh written in her own lipstick, on a grimy napkin from charly’s brew pub and grill. from the pieces of i.d. you glean your most valuable acquisition – her name (lucy) and other little particulars (her height, her need for corrective lenses). there is also her address, which you already knew through your diligence (she lives on pilette, by the tracks and before the river gleaming like a strip of blue chrome, a hard mirror which detroit lurks against, burnished in both sky and water). you call the number and hang up when a man answers, his voice coarse. in one final stroke of luck there is also a debit receipt printed neatly on glossy white paper for you, and dated last thursday. you are mildly horrified but more keenly perplexed that she would be at charly’s. and above all, a thursday girl. but devoutly you will make the pilgrimage tonight and meet her there. you would be an alcoholic if you had the money but you don’t and so here you are in a crowded bar, sober, while the music pumps

Photos by Jak Spedding (MUA - Laura Gingell) (Model - Miranda @ PHA)

up through the walls, pulsating through the floor like the hearts of the murdered in that story by poe. anyway this night is one you will want to remember without having to peel through the sodden layers of a liquored haze in the morning. on the walls is a cluttered collection of hockey paraphernalia, wrestling posters featuring women greased up in bikinis, and gritty photographs of old baseball teams. the air has a wet grainy smell, sharpened by sour sweat. and there she is, tripping through the men. she is obviously drunk, her eyes glazed bright and her grin stuck to her face. there’s no romance about her little yellow dress, one strap slipping down her shoulder. or the way the bartender makes his way over, sliding his hand over her skin as he passes by. you find the filmy glass she has left on a ledge, (vodka and orange juice). the rim crayoned with her lipstick, which you wipe away chivalrously with your finger. bright red, and it doesn’t suit her. the boys standing beside her leaning back on the bar don’t even try to disguise the way their gazes slide up her dress. you breathe in, slip out a side door to wait for her in the parking lot. your liberation of her will come as a welcome surprise. you have plans for her, beautiful things. after all, everyone always says you have a real artistic touch.

Anne Baldo is 24 years old from Windsor, Ontario, and currently working on her first novel, Marrying DeWitt Webb

Profile for Burner Magazine

Burner Magazine, issue 01 (September 2010)  

The inaugural issue of Burner Magazine, which aims to take the boring out of the literary and arts scenes.

Burner Magazine, issue 01 (September 2010)  

The inaugural issue of Burner Magazine, which aims to take the boring out of the literary and arts scenes.

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