A Budget Named Apothecary
Courtesy Janitorial is shadowed by freshly cured stucco. Earl’s Barber Shop
seems to be, NAACP posters taped to the front door; free job-seeking classes
at the Black United Fund. “We went trick-or-treating, said Pastor Frazier,
and got stopped by an officer on the corner of 16th and Thompson. You boys
in the wrong neighborhood, said the man. You boys, need to go back home.”
Those searchers of circumstance note cracks in the sidewalk, The Tabernacle,
its preserved potential. A meeting is never scheduled, the congregation never
told. The unknown peddle past American Legion, Post 134. Rexall hangs,
accordingly. Their American Spirits are self-prescribed. The bearded man
is talking to the bearded man in an idling white Volvo while new bike parking
is bolted into theory. Everything in its Right Place. #72 slices by old homes
while neon GIFTS gleam in the window, the top unbuttoned hostess spot-shines
silver, folds starched-white napkins in the dim light of Ciao Vito. The veterans
are smoking Parliaments, breaking from Bingo and Jack while the new remain
divided. Next door, Don Panchos carries Jarritos and candies dipped in chili
powder, where long-haired boys show off their phones and conjugated verbs.
There is a Random Order behind the bus stop and I’m not waiting for a ride.
The police women are searching for the perpetrator. The young girl curls
in the window seat and is no more while the honking, all the transplants
unlocking shiny new schedules are quietly turning elsewhere.