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alex manley


bad reputation


No snares in the drums. So alone in so much of me.
I’m not in love with you, or anyone. I’m in love with

tension. Do you know how this thing is played? You're
living in the past. I've entered the second phase of

construction on your broken heart. Can you see the
difference? Day by day it gets worse. All this talk of

phases. My brain is a body going through heat failure.
Thoughts shorting out like organs shutting down, until

all that's left is a corner backing in on itself. No, no, no,
not me. I think about her because she looks like you,

that's transference, and she helps me forget about you,
and in a few weeks someone else will help me forget about

her. My brain is a daisy chain. Never said I wanted to. My
brain is a broken piece of machinery that was once meant

to strike something now flailing rhythmically through the
air, never in danger of contact. My brain is a heart with

ADHD, a knife in a toaster, a toaster in the bath. My brain is
the word “mouthfeel” in pink all caps Gotham bold over a

giant picture of a tongue. My brain is a Tinder match with
a girl I met in a bar last year, who likes my Instagram pictures

sometimes, who looks just like you, only her hair is curlier.
Can you see? So why should I care about a bad reputation?

Just phase it out. Somehow you stole that song from me,
just because we watched it once together on YouTube on

your couch. This is how I keep time now, watching the hours
since you were last on Facebook grow. It never gets better.






Alex Manley is a 26-year-old writer from Montreal and an alumnus of Concordia University's creative writing program. His writing has appeared at Shabby Doll House, Everyday Genius, Banango Street, HTMLGiant and Maisonneuve magazine, among others. He is left-handed.