Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I was in the back seat of the bus
jammed between a mother
and her children
and an older woman who
although sitting right next to it
never once
looked out the window.
in front of me there was a man
with a live rooster
clenched in his hands
and at each stop
some new solicitor
would board the bus
give his spiel
and then come around
to ask for money.
first was a young boy who sang
and had a nice voice
the next was a skinny, little man
who was pushing vitamins
that supposedly made you live forever.
after he sold quite a few bottles
he got off the bus
and nobody new came on
and I thought, finally, some peace
and quiet.
but as soon as I’d shut my eyes
I heard a voice in front of me ask,
‘hey, man? Man? You, gringo!’
I opened my eyes thinking, “oh, shit.
Now what?”
the man in front of me
with the rooster
he leaned his greasy dark face
into the aisle and said, “black whore,
for you?”
I didn’t understand him at first
so I said, “what?”
and he repeated, “black whore, for you?”
I shook my head and said, “no, thanks.”
turned to look out the window

to see what it was
the old woman was now looking at
or if she was just looking away

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