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YYC I found a row of payphones in the Calgary airport. A lonely place nestled inside a lonely place. I thought Telus meant tell us, so I picked up a black receiver and whispered a poem about how solo travel is like being a Manitoba maple staring at your reflection in a surrounding pond. Mostly right, but rippleblurred. On the plane home to Nanaimo, a woman’s seat-back TV went black two seats across from me. Oh, that would be just my luck, she said. As if she had experienced the luck of another human being. As if self-importance doesn’t affect perception. But who am I to come up with these grand statements anyways? There is a baby in the arms of a man sitting in front of me, and her chubby face is peeking through the crack in the seats. We can’t stop smiling at each other.

Spenser Smith

4

(parenthetical) issue 14: July 2016  
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