Spit Take

I can’t stop it from getting up on me
down the street and it hits
All within inches:
Engines backfire
Horns blast
Sirens rip the not-so-silence to tatters
But nothing puts terror on the tracks
Like the others
On the sidewalk
They exit stores
Stand in line
Wait long waits
Buy, sell
Ride, wander, hop and holler
A ceaseless pulsating mass
I shouldn’t be afraid
But my pores explode with itchy cowardice
The thought of them
The baby buggy
Blue and green balloons tied on
rolling along
infant within
It doesn’t cry
It screams in anguish, awful
Like a widow at the grave
Every lungful a wail against absurdity
Scream, scream, small child, scream
Jostle and trundle
santa-momma-muerte pushes on
And behind her
lifts his shirt
Rubs his bloated brown belly
And spits
A long good wet one to the pavement
It shouldn’t bother me
Is the bare-belly show mine?
What did I do?
Am I a metaphorical spittoon?
What’s the message here?
I know there is one
A message
A code beyond words
Well-passed forked tongues
A spit-take on my soul
Sucked up and hawked into hell
And I’m not getting it
They want me to
They get it all over me
But the target has no eye
People all over me
And I’m all over them
Except for the fear


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