By Ryan Quinn Flanagan
7 BLOCKS 7 blocks from an untenable position, the boys in the service fill sandbags, pack them high as the walls of the county courthouse. 6 blocks of freshly paved roads, the fowler’s avian arms outstretched like the masts of barnacled boats in the shallow harbour. 5 blocks is a fair distance for laboured breathers, a peace offering in a brown paper bag, the smell of the tobacconist’s all through my clothes and peerless smoke signal mind. 4 blocks where the cramps set in, I was once a young man: sinewy, bothered, flooded as basement apartments during the rainy season. 3 blocks of office tower stairwells, long lines for all the food trucks, enough polished shoes to never bang on greasy thrift shop windows again. 2 blocks from a joint decision, all that sobbing and tears over the phone, switching ears with an impatient receiver. 1 block of small boutiques, the chocolatier with crushed nuts over everything, not a mother in sight nor strollered push cart child.
Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Borderless Journal, GloMag, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.
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