Monday, November 16, 2009

mind y'own bizness


ride the 4 express to 125 and lex
get out and walk to the busstop
just miss a crosstown

an agitated man
near the busstop
yells across the street
‘you got to mind y'own bizness’
he hops slightly when he does it
to propel the words implicitly

i dont see the target
of his venom

i look around
wonder why this guy’s upset
he seems so serious
it’s hard to believe

another man appears
walks through cars
stopped at the light

‘you got to mind y'own bizness’
‘i got nothing to do with this’

the second man gestures
away all connection
says his business is his own
as the first man’s is his own

‘you got to mind y'own bizness’

the second man nears
this side of the street

the first man walks
to a nearby van
and slides the side door

he reaches fast inside
his hand emerges heavy
with the black shape
of a gun

125th street is dramatic
and exceptional
broad and open
lined by closed chain stores
the space is large
and big things happen here
it offers little cover

the second man renews
his plaintive claim
that the first man is plainly
mistaken and the second man
apologises for the confusion

he should have stayed
on the other side of the street

i refuse
to be caught
in another man’s

i stride purposefully cursing
under my breath
glance back and listen
to gauge the situation

i turn the corner and hear
‘you got to mind y'own bizness’

as i walk the block north
i look twice at the cop car across the avenue
and turn west on 126

nevermind the bus
i’ll just walk

after park ave my pace
slowed to usual stroll
through harlem home
nine blocks and 4 avenues away
to eat supper and chalk it up
one night i saw a gun

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