to the woman pulling her handbag tighter

To the woman pulling her handbag tighter as I walk behind:
Come on, what is the deal?
I see you frequently looking back over your shoulder at me.
Do you think I am going to rob/rape/murder you?
It’s 6:30pm on a Tuesday,
Surely there is a better time for rape and murder than this.

Do I look like a thug?
What is the point for living in a racist society,
If I don’t even get credit for being on the winning side?
My shoes are from American Eagle.
My jeans are from Target.
The song on my iPod:  “Casimir Pulaski Day”.
Sufjan Stevens.
I’m not just white.  I’m embarrassingly white.

It’s not like I could even attack you anyway.
You probably have a good 20 pounds on me.
Leverage is on your side, yet you quicken your pace.
What would be like to live in your world where evil is around every turn?
Where the skinny guy behind you is just waiting for the perfect moment,
To swing his laptop bag against your head,
Gag your mouth with a USB cable,
And drag you back to his Ikea-furnished studio apartment?

To the woman pulling her handbag tighter as I walk behind:
We are merely two strangers for a moment on the same sidewalk.
Yet going to completely different places.
When you get home, you will lock the deadbolt and chain,
While I’ll fall asleep and forget to close the balcony door,

You turn the corner and walk up a side street,
And give a last glance backward as I keep walking straight.
Your assumptions to my guilt annoy me.
Don’t you know who I am?
Don’t you know that I have never been violent to anyone?
(Except for maybe that time I hit my sister in the shoulder.)
(But we were young; like you never did that.)
I hear footsteps besides my own.  But you are gone.
And they are behind me.

Geez, is someone following me?

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  1. kim

    for open mic night? :)

    Posted May 1, 2008 at 1:34 am | Permalink
  2. Love it.

    Posted May 1, 2008 at 2:13 am | Permalink
  3. Yeah, so i totally love this piece of work!

    Posted May 15, 2008 at 6:13 pm | Permalink