Because I Was Reading KM

“…that need to belong, like, we are one.”
A future social worker said,
to a black young woman
her views changing
right in front
of me
as she (she was black, too) hits
society’s ceiling
she kept saying these lines
her idealism losing itself in words
talking about programs
and prisons
all I could do was think about The Wire
the loudest conversation here
the problem
today
is that we think we’re so different
she’s disillusioned
because people need help here
and now
in DC
but the systemic abuse is top to
bottom
this is
our era
or mine
so I just walked around The Mall
(the outside one, of fields and gravel, between
the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building in DC, if
you haven’t been, it’s not a “mall” where you buy things, it’s
actually a big open pseudo-public space)
and the clouds didn’t clear up
I watched people with accents take
pictures of their children
and eat boiled hotdogs
with bright red peppers
“I don’t exactly believe in the system, but that will give me
a deeper perspective…”

An Asian (Japanese perhaps) family
with those fresh
tourist eyes
seeing the city anew
really moved me but then I wanted
to take
a photo of them without
them knowing
and I felt like an American asshole
so then I spent
an hour looking for Chapstick
because
all the stores were closed
for Sunday
in the nation’s capitol
and my lips were so dry
but CVS
I found it
and the door guard asked me what I needed
when I walked in
I hesitated because I realized
“Chapstick” would be a little suspect
but I said it because I thought my lips probably looked convincing enough
and he pointed
to isle 6
“How long do I need to live somewhere to call it home?”

JEREMY MOHLER

MARCH 24, 2013

‘Because I Was Reading KM’ by JEREMY MOHLER is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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