December 7, 2008

sipping a screwdriver at the ghetto bar half mile from my house

by Justin Hyde

i’ve never been here before,
but a young black
was shot and killed
out in the parking-lot
three days ago.

second shooting in six months.

city council’s holding an emergency meeting
next thursday

going to shut them down permanent.

figured i’d check it out
before it becomes another empty building
on douglas avenue
plastered with realtor signs.

split down the middle
blacks and bosnians

occupancy sign says forty-five
which is a joke

more than that
around three pool tables
against the back wall.

bartender tells me
he’s sitting alright,
has a job lined up
selling cars
over in boone.

hit the second screwdriver
laying down the tip
when a heavy-set mulatto
trashed out of her skull
taps me on the shoulder.

my friends think you’re an under cover cop,
she says
lips barely moving,
talking from a pinpoint
miles behind her eyes.

she manages to point out
the table full of
50cent rap-video
throwing me heavy

doesn’t take good taste
to pull the trigger,
i think to myself
and ask how i can prove
i’m not a cop.

take some shots off my tits,
she says
pulling a
sloppy-bazooka out.

pours three test tubes
full of lemon-drops.

they go.


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