Friday, May 29, 2015

Streetlamp Dark Streetlamp Dark Streetlamp


A cop car wails through a red light
in front of  the all night self serve car wash
next to the Popeye's on MLK
just south of Rosa Parks.
The bus waits for the light to change
then plows on through.
We pass block upon block
of beauty salons, barbershops,
sneaker stores. Not as many as
there were a few years ago.
Most of the black people in town
can't afford to live up here anymore.
Neither can I, for that matter.
The fat white guy across the aisle from me
clutches a 32 oz Jacksons gas station cup
full of Dr. Pepper. He wears a zip up hoodie
with the words Big Dogs across the front
and a camouflage hunter's cap crisscrossed
with stylized branches and the shadows of leaves.
His black girlfriend, slightly less obese
than he is, sits in the seat in front of him.
They are too wide to sit next to one another.
His pale meaty paw rests gently
on the back of her neck
as he tells her not to yank the cord yet,
that it isn't this stop they want but the next one.
Or maybe the one after that.

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