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Swipe

‘Yo bud, could I get a swipe?’
Standing up straight,
A tall, lanky, hopefully
Kid was staring down at me

I stand, backpack slung across my back,
Cool like an AK
I’ve been humming the newest beat
Praying no one will notice me

His proposition takes me back a step,
Considering what value the swipe of a Metrocard
And access to the 1 train holds,
I Pause
I do this from time to time
To gather my thoughts while others
Speed around me

‘Don’t talk to strangers’
Eh,
Over-exaggeration tends to leak from the lips of parents
At least that’s what Mama says
I consider the chances slim
Of my face plastered on milk cartons
Unless.

Our encounter
Evolves like a five volume
Masterpiece
A ballet of humanity
Between me
And Myself
And Him

One,
At his demand
Being the good Jewish mensch
My mother tried oh so very hard
To contrive me into,
Like a blacksmith hammering stubborn, ungrateful, molten lead,
I unleash my golden brownish device
It’s plasticity electrifying my
Sweated fingers

Two,
I am empowered by his proposition
With my disposable trident of transportation
I hold His fate in my hands
I tilt my head upwards from my
Downward gazed pretention

Three,
Surprise tingles my stomach
As I realize this boy
May be a boy
May act like me
May be like me
But he is certainly not I
His dark complexion casts
Shadow upon
My light-ish brow
Blocking out the sunlight of the street
And clouds what should be my thinking

Four,
A red wave of suspicion crashes upon the shores of my nerves
What does this Stranger want with Me
Anyway?


He should have His own
I suggest to my inner-psyche
But I’m meek
That’s what mom
Says the problem is
Isn’t it? So then, f*** it,
(Justifiable) micro-aggression
Washes over me
Which is fine
Only for the briefest of moments

Five,
Pause
I open my mouth and nothing comes out
Why do I hesitate?
I know this Boy
I’ve met this Boy
I’ve talked to this Boy
Maybe not alone but
I certainly have
Because I’m different
The distance between us greatens
Physically as I feel
Magnetically repelled from him
He turns his head to look in the
Other direction,
My gaze remains on Him
But my feet move seemingly as if
I am controlled by a
Puppeteer

Five seconds
And then
Swipe
Were both gone
As i pass through the metal barrier,
Separate ways
I never see him again
But He is with me always
Perched on my shoulder
Peering at me from so very close,
While being so very far



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Fia-fia said...
Feb. 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I do not entirely understand this poem, only parts of it, but it is really well done. It speaks to a certain part of us that I think everyone has to deal with, so thank you! 

:)

 
Andres V. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm
Well, this poem is based on a real experience of mine. Literally, i go through my thoughts during the five seconds I was with this kid. However, it is much deeper than that, as I am discussing themes stricking to our society such as race, ambiguity, and maturity. If you think of the boy as black culture, I am sure you will see it in a clearer light. 
 
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