July 17, 2013



Yeah,that's right,
I'm packing.
I am.

I'm packing my wallet, my keys, my watch,
the card key to my hotel,
my PDA ,
and my journal with pen in case I get inspired on the subway.

and when I passed you on the Ben Franklin bridge,
then stopped,
I was only checking out to see if I could make out the hours for the Riverside Rink,
lit up,
not thinking you would catch me.

You looked at me as I spun away to follow you down the stairs to Columbus,
and you stopped after 3 steps
and looked at me as I passed you on the left,
my engagement ring 'tinging on the rail.
I'm a guy,
so, by definition, I'm a danger.
So, I don't blame you.
You're a woman,
reading a book as you walk across the bridge,
but you're not sporting headphones,
and you're not afraid to make eye contact with me,
some 6 foot tall,
bulging layers'
long haired,
goatee sportin'
200 pounds of potential menace,
a nightmare that livin' in the city
told you to be on the lookout for.

I'm packing,
I'm packing a string of words and conversations
that I want to direct at you,
for assuming the worst: 

assuming I might sneak up,
throw your arm up high and twist,
reach around
and slap my large hand over your mouth to silence you
as I used my 200 pounds and dragged you somewhere
anywhere that was dark, obscure, lightly trafficked.
Cause I know that fear is healthy,
and fear is what keeps you safe,
but I'm still a little shook up
because I'm afraid of the me you saw.
You saw me as some creepy, bearded,
overweight stranger,
eyes perhaps a bit too narrow,
looking at you a bit too long,
hands clenched in fists,
and not talking on a phone or listening to an iPod.

I'd probably not want me following myself either.
It's enough to make my mind spin in all these different directions,
that it wasn't going before this night.
I'm not too sure
I want my mind to go there,
to think that in an alternate universe
instead of thinking about being mugged
beat down,
I'm the mugger,
junkie, rapist assailant
who women wait for,
standing on the third step,
in the light so that I can pass and put these 36 steps between us
on a busy street at 8:30
on the day after Valentine's day
in Philadelphia-
the City of Brotherly Love.

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