Arts + Scene » Poetry

Blindsided on the Corner of California & Harris



He merely wanted a cigarette
But we thought he wanted change
Neither of which we could provide
But we could have saved his life

We pulled away as he approached
So he asked somebody else
Goal met, he crossed the street

We don't know what made him do it
But he turned on his heel
And on that moment of inspiration
All of our lives changed

"Call 911! Call 911! Call Fucking 911!"
"Corner of California & Harris"
"Is he injured?"
"Of course he's injured -- either unconscious or dead"
"Does anybody have a rag?!?"
"The first aid kit!"
"That won't help him now"
"Gauze is better than a rag"
"He's going to be okay"
"He's not fucking okay!"
"Is he responding?"
"He's not okay. I'm a nurse. He's not okay."
"Why is that little shit taking pictures?"

A flurry of uniforms
Navy Blue. Sickly Yellow. Red.

Perhaps if we had just let him ask
-- That brief moment of interchange --
Nothing would have changed

30 minutes after
May 12, 2011

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