Throwing an elbow at the skating rink,
Stealing gum at Disneyland,
Goldfinch shot midair
from three pumps on the BB gun,
these are the mean little things
which return to me while I’m trying to sleep.
Dude with long hair grabbed her waist
during our assumed couples love song,
admonished not to touch store merchandise
with my brown and greasy hands,
reproached for not being a man
because I do not like firearms,
these are the catalysts for mean little things
which return to me when I’m almost asleep.
I followed that stringy uncut hair stealthily
through five swift curves of Kool & the Gang
and when he hit the wooden rollerway
I know he cracked a front tooth hard
and some backwards skaters landed hard
and created a tangled hirsute mess of wheels
involving matted blood and sharp scissors
and a forgotten ripped up concert shirt of Queen.
Chewing together three wads of Sour Cherry Bubblicious,
stuck to the seat of the pantaloons of the racist manager,
Minnie Mouse costumed foul mouthed bitch not paying attention
to the fond gifts I left for her on her stool behind the counter.
Given the choice of pellets or round shot,
shown how to pump the lever,
tense the air rifle,
waiting for all of us to join the Marines
together, at twelve years old.
Challenged by the admission I don’t like guns.
Where’d did you come up with that?
In church, my feelings pulverized by the pulpiteer
sermonizing patriotism only through weapons and God,
I foolishly told my friends I don’t like missiles or God.
And here we are, absconded in the city woods,
presented with the opportunity to prove my pride,
my American pride, lest I betray my heritage,
my skin color, my accent, the reasons my family
immigrated to this country, or be fully exposed
as Socialists pigs secretly colluding with the Reds.
I saw a flash of lemon yellow in the sky,
somebody threw a tennis ball up in the sky.