ERROR ROUTINE

A shard of glass glints
from the living room floor.
Weeks ago, one of my cats
possessed by twilight
knocked a wine glass
off the coffee table,
now jagged bits turn up
to grace at random—
one nestled in the soft pile
of the hallway carpet,
another expectant
at the foot of the bed.
How innocently this shard sits
reflecting the bob of candlelight:
I am reminded
how pretty dangers
lie just underfoot.

 

E. SECOND STREET

I’m headed home down E. 2nd Street,
where back in the day
we used to troll for the boys
in beat-bumpin hoopties,
speakers takin up the whole damn trunk.
We’d strut down hot summer pavement
in shorts as high
as our mothers would allow,
throw it up to cars honkin.

But we didn’t talk
to the old white men who pulled over,
beckoned us to the window.
We waved them on, laughed
at the thought of their limp dicks
toppled on hairy, raw thighs.

Driving up this street now,
where some dude was shot
last year right on the sidewalk,
I’m terrified for past-me,
what the fuck was I thinkin?
We’d just skip on home
when the streetlights blinked
and I swear I don’t remember
danger’s hot breath on my back.

Maybe it wasn’t like that then?

Nah, it was like that then.


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CHRISTINE TAYLOR, a multiracial English teacher and librarian, resides in her hometown Plainfield, New Jersey.  She serves as a reader and contributing editor at OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Modern HaikuaptGlass: A Journal of PoetryThe Rumpus, and The Paterson Literary Review, among others.  She can be found at www.christinetayloronline.com.