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Blues

by
 Those five or six young guys
lunched on the stoop
that oven-hot summer night
whistled me over.
Nice and friendly.
So, I stop.
MacDougal or Christopher Street in chains of light.
A summer festival.
Or some saint's.
I wasn't too far from home, but not too bright for a nigger, and not too dark.
I figured we were all one, wop, nigger, jew, besides, this wasn't Central Park.
I'm coming on too strong? You figure right! They beat this yellow nigger black and blue.
Yeah.
During all this, scared on case one used a knife, I hung my olive-green, just-bought sports coat on a fire plug.
I did nothing.
They fought each other, really.
Life gives them a few kcks, that's all.
The spades, the spicks.
My face smashed in, my bloddy mug pouring, my olive-branch jacket saved from cuts and tears, I crawled four flights upstairs.
Sprawled in the gutter, I remember a few watchers waved loudly, and one kid's mother shouting like "Jackie" or "Terry," "now that's enough!" It's nothing really.
They don't get enough love.
You know they wouldn't kill you.
Just playing rough, like young Americans will.
Still it taught me somthing about love.
If it's so tough, forget it.

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