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Self-Portrait Beneath Wall Street

By floragj, Brooklyn, NY

I am waiting for my train
on a December evening. The light
at the end of the platform glows red.
The air smells of urine,
and old copper pennies,
not zinc.
My jacket is belted about my waist.
I am shoulders and hips,
all in black.

A train coasts into the station,
headed uptown.
It is across the tracks that I see him.
A muscled black boy.
But he is not black. He is
tan, or olive-skinned, or Arabic,
except for his hair, which is nappy,
like his mother’s.
He told me, when I knew him.
It is covered by a knit hat,
pompom at the top.

He shakes hands

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