Now I Know How He Felt

One night after closing
the head shop where I worked,
I met my dealer in the parking
lot to buy a bag of weed.
We were friends,
practicing on occasion
an innocent flirtation.
He was a bit younger,
taller than I and his car
was much nicer than mine.
I waited inside it, breathing
leather and vanilla little
tree while he made
a telephone call on the pay phone
outside the shop, dark inside,
neon blazing on the glass storefront.
I lit a cigarette from a stolen pack
and watched him speak, hand overhead
bracing his slouch against the booth,
voice rising in apparent agitation.
He began to scream, “You don’t care!
You don’t care! You don’t even
FUCKING care!” as he slammed
the phone into the receiver again
and again, then released it to swing,
innocent victim in a lynching.
As he made his way back to the car
I averted my eyes
as you might from the pants
of one who pissed himself
in a drunken stupor, pretending
not to notice his tears.

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