I was at Starbucks
and they came for me
they hadn’t been for me in a while
but they came for me
I was just sitting in my car looking
at my phone, harming no one
heard a tap at my window, businesslike,
police, I figure it would be something
“step out of the car.”
“someone said you followed them from home.”
“they said that you look at porn on your cell phone?”
“what? I would never look at porn at Starbucks.”
“it sounds like he doesn’t believe what he is saying.
he seems suspicious to me and i am suspicious to him
the flashing lights come in, and they light up the night
three more police cars. I feel like El Chapo.
I don’t have a criminal record.
at 41 i thought i was past this.
being treated like a criminal.
but i feel like 25 again, not having my shit together.
It seems like they are being friendly with me
but they hate me, “sit on the curb!”
they would say that they are just doing their jobs
always doing their jobs
I take everything out of my pockets like i am told,
but that is not good enough.
he has too take everything out of my pockets
and sits on the car trunk.
this shit is so embarrassing.
I feel people looking at me, I don’t look up.
I try to smile, it is difficult though.
they are dissecting me,
they have been watching me for months.
I have been minding my business, and been
so quiet, just working on my laptop, reading books,
and listening to podcasts.
the boys need to remind me I am a fuck up, and black,
not whatever i think I am
they tear the car apart looking for
looking for heroin
the do their best to find that
but they don’t find it
I don’t have it, and never had it
I used to hang out in bars.
and this is one of the reasons I stopped
I figured i would be safe at Starbucks
not fucking with anyone.
I thought the employees were my friends,
some of them, but they are with the police too.
these people act like they don’t know me,
act like we have never talked or joked with one
another. I feel betrayed betrayed betrayed
this is Kafkaesque
who set me up? and why?
betrayed betrayed betrayed
and he bought me drinks and played video games at bar, we
were bar buddies, not too many people liked him. And we were
both outsiders at the bar. I remember him saying, “you know my job
is hiring Damion, we could always use another janitor.” As if that would
be the only thing i would be qualified to be. I thought it was funny and
interesting if he intended it to be an insult. And deep down it was. Something
was going on in his life to insult me. And even though he worked for Boeing and
made a shit load of money he was not happy. UN happier than the shipping clerk
he wanted to insult, interestingly enough
The Clerk is An Angel
I got to the grocery store and was impatient,
line building behind me, Sunday night and cart full of groceries,
no bagger, he went home, meaning the cashier would have to bag the groceries
too, which will slow up the line.
the line didn’t have any movement, as still as the sky
this made me uncomfortable as it made others uncomfortable,
but people started chatting with each other, and I just picked up
a can of beans in my grocery cart and read the ingredients
I felt as uncomfortable as a traffic jam, almost unbearable to me
and the clerk’s voice was so calm, with no hint of frustration, or anger, or impatience,
and I haven’t seen anything like that in a while, as he asked, “how I was feeling?”
I kinda snapped when i said, “just wish you had a bagger.”
with impatience and anger i was trying to temper, yet couldn’t quite do this.
I put the card in the machine, it holds and releases,
he gives me a receipt of the stuff I had bought,
his face is still so calm, I admire that
“have a good night I say.”
realizing my foolishness
I took a benadryl
and was knocked out for hours
this sleep, dreamless at times
when I woke up, I thought it was
eight in the morning,
it was one in the afternoon,
this Memorial day holiday
I did nothing except sleep mostly
it felt good to me,
not to notice what time it is
except it was my time for a while
and the world dissolved for me
into blue smoke