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every other man

The light outside the main entrance to our building has gone out again. The heavy metal door swings wide as I pull a hat down over my ears. In the darkness there are maybe twenty teenagers standing still. My boot scrapes across the ground, slowing down. Their hands in pockets, shoulders hunched, I look for a space to pass between them. A voice appears, saying hello in English, with an obvious accent. I am all instinct, sayingpivyet as I pass, not looking back, wondering who said this. There was a boy that was an extra in Blackbetty that lives in our building, but he is too young, too short for it to have been him.

I look back, navigating the puddles in the street. It does not make any sense.

N is with V, making their way home. I meet them, pulling V into my arms as she chatters about her day, about dry leaves and princesses, about her grandmother's apartment and what she ate there. We are going back home, and I try to explain the odd collection that stands outside. As we pass th…

black on black

I cannot say very much
about the black on black
the bloody days and
nights
the tense moments making life
count while I wait
for the police to come
but they never do
just a trick to
scare me
but I am not scared.
I will spend my last moments of
freedom with that
little girl who eats peanut butter
with a spoon right
from the jar
every time the police are
supposed to
bust in.

I will walk in the cold air
and buy
raisin pastries
for her, every morning
no matter what.
I am her father, no matter
where I sleep.

I will listen to Beatles songs
and think the
black on black
cannot be more
dark
than this.
That the snow did come quickly
and yes, we made miniature
snowmen and
snow women together before
she got cold and we went inside
for soup and
cartoons.


Comments

brenda said…
For what it's worth, I'm right there with you, M. Try and write your way out of the dark. It helps. I swear, it does...

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