Some See Only in Color

August 14, 2008
By Becky Mandelbaum, Wichita, KS

Silently the cells decay, blood vessels shrivel away and exit the body through the waterfall
Of vomit landing in chunks that coalesce and form a yellow, orange, pink pool in the public restroom
At the zoo where exotic and dangerous animals live freely in cages of silver metal welded by Chinese workers across the cerulean sea-
That vast and mysterious second world that laps itself on our shores
Like a beast licking its master gently before it sinks its putrid teeth into the flesh
Of sand juxtaposed with beach houses owned by wealthy doctors, and
Miserly old Jewish bankers who rent these tropical cottages once their skin
Has wrinkled and decayed and retired enough to let them sleep and read big books
In peace inside of a million dollar space between walls painted in pastels
By illegal immigrants who seek a meager wage to feed their illegal families
Who sleep seven to a tiny room and survive on tortillas and peanut butter bought
From the local grocery store, bagged by a pimply faced teenager who earns
Almost twice the pay of these foreign customers and drinks at night as he drives
Down streets where police men flash their red, white, blue lights and sirens only to pull the black man over
As the drunken boy leans puking brown out the driver side window in the next lane over,
Upchucking his fifteen dollar clear vodka which washed down hamburgers bought from the McDonald's whose red window was worked by a mentally retarded man named Evan who
Didn't charge him for his fries because his mind could not work fast enough.

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