(North Battleford, Sask.)

by Rocco de Giacomo
Ontario, Canada

Romance is where blue-haired ladies
nibble at egg salad sandwiches, local
attempts at prairie sky hang from roofing nails,
and on the AM radio the price
of canola is discussed as often as war.

It's where the contents of our
sandwiches are applied with
ice-cream scoops, the trays
are mint, the linoleum squeaks
and slices of pickle are an extra 50¢.

It's where the spoonfuls of Borscht
paint our mouths red, our legs stick
to the seats, and our lips are as ribbon
smears on a white canvas: the words
I love you a tongues-breath away from
ruining and meaning everything.

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