“Like Black Ice”

Talking to the Canadian woman,

27 or so,

In the Walgreens in North Carolina,


I am observing how she stands

Patiently and easily, making

Voluminous eye contact with

Dark, non-expressive but


Softly inviting eyes.


She is alarmingly marked by

The fact that she is not frightened,

Not acting like I am a rapist

Or a degraded individual

Or like she is in any danger


And she sees this surprise in me

And she is taking in

The great, bleeding experiment


That is America,

An opaque bath of darkness,

A liquid nitrogen tank


Of pain and desperation.

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