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Brendan Rowland


Bookshop by GB Kearey

Combing damp shelves for a Calvino novel, I settle for
a paperback Steinbeck. The bifocaled clerk twirls his pen.
He murmurs farewell to the waxpaper bag pinned under
my elbow. The wind rebukes my bravado. She bids me
hunch southwest, collar-popped, wishing my banknote
had purchased a scarf instead of two coffees. The ducks
chatter, proud the Moray never freezes. I dip into Barney’s
Vinyl. The shop sprawls into clammy backrooms and I feel
like a vole digesting in an adder. The wind races the streets,
a teenager with salt on her breath, capricious. She shunts
Tom, local hero, through the belled door. American? he
forays, try the tapwater, Scotland has the best-tasting
tapwater anywhere. Pleasure, I claim, name’s Holden.


About the writer:
Brendan Rowland, studying modern literature, lives in Westford, Massachusetts, several lots down from Edgar Allan Poe’s brief residence. While writing, he sports black denim, cream-colored cat hair, and Sennheiser headphones blasting rock ‘n’ roll. He will begin a master’s at the University of Glasgow in Fall, 2023.

Image: Bookshop by GB Kearey (1896-1945). No medium specified. No size specified. 1923. Public domain.

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