Blues Café

By Alison Stone

The man at the next table stabs his salad.

A pierced tomato splatters the rumpled

busgirl slouched nearby, who reeks

of cigarettes and sex, probably

from hot nights with a cover band’s drummer.

He’ll break her heart, the way a boy crushed

mine in Boston, after sex and restaurants

had run their course and there was nothing left

but mumbled excuses. An old story, predictable

as winter. It always starts with a quickening

pulse and ends with snow

some fierce blast drives into trees’ brittle limbs.

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