A Razor-Edged Angel

The streets were swept with crusty leaves and balled up run-off from indiscriminate trashcans. He came too early and rested his guitar next to him at the bar. He drank pint glasses of wheat beer and left the oranges beached on cocktails napkins.

He was the type of man with a backbone that didn’t fold when he wept. The fine mop of hair laid sweaty against his neck, framed by the sharp hint of collarbone. The lines in his knuckles were deep gradations, aging his hand likes the rings in a split tree trunk. Across the room, his fishbowl eyes burned neon blue.

I looked back. He didn’t move much. I could see his spine stacked up beneath his undershirt. His shoulders were sharp, like someone had cut his wings off with a rough blade.

I felt his eyes on me that evening as he sat at the bar slowly drinking beer, carefully removing each orange slice from the rim of his glass and collecting them in a pile on the side. I wondered how drunk he was, or if he was drunk at all.  I wished I had counted the orange slices.

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