dying breed (Day 6)

the burnt man on the bus
to whom mom apologizes
Uhura and Sulu
my cousin who doesn’t look like me
Mike and i listening to INXS,
then Living Colour, then Fishbone
Geordi La Forge
the word i misspell at the spelling bee
apartheid
despite worn out cassettes of U2
a white Bronco
(you perhaps expected a white Bronco)
a dream had, deferred, marched
boxing gloves, scuffed sneakers
his knuckles echo in the door
like this, don’t hurt him
the too big, too loud back of their car
lyrics threatening intimate harm
churning my insides not unpleasantly
he says,
‘boys, we’re a dying breed,’ he says,
lazing white tee shirt and jeans
milk with ice cubes
we’ll dance around pottery
before
disappearing
completely

 
 
 

prompt: from one of Noah Eli Gordon’s ten prompts, which range from the delightfully absurd to the time-consumingly tantalizing. i originally wanted to do the sonnet prompt (#5), but i think that’s because it was less painful for me than prompt #6, which asks a writer to compile a list of instances when said writer first became aware of the concept of race. as this is only a selection of moments before the end of high school, this is by no means a complete list (and my draft list has many, many more embarrassing moments). also, the list has been tweaked to come to a somewhat satisfying end (the pottery memory really goes with the INXS, Fishbone, Living Colour memories). and i didn’t even get to the second part of the prompt (the never-ending list of moments in my life where race played a role). but tonight was student conferences, so i’m exhausted and my guard is down, so what better time to compile a poem about race? #greatidea.
 
p.s. naturally, Mike is not his name.
 
p.p.s. not sure about the title, but it’s late. feel free to offer suggestions below, should you be so inclined.
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2 Responses to dying breed (Day 6)

  1. vinita18 says:

    the word I misspell at the spelling bee
    apartheid

    Of course! Clever touch there…excellent overall!

  2. Misky says:

    This is absolutely terrific. I like the title, too.

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