The Move (A 36th Ave. Poem)

It took ‘til the 365th time I trekked past patrolling cops
to be told by my stranger-neighbor
that I didn’t belong-

Since my husband’s worn, stained shirt
he wears on repeat
is an oxford,
my hand-me-downs are adorable,
we’re a happy tired couple,
and we can commute to the only minimum
wage we can find.

Of course, it’d only taken three months
for the other half of town to say
that we were too disabled, and
we shouldn’t use our bathsalts
as soap.

So I guessed I’d have to try to do
something other than belong.

Like borrow Andre’s fourway
and hand some clothes further down,
knock on Jaleel’s door early each week,
though he still won’t wake in time,

listen to the gentleman defending the squirrels,
go to Kendra’s bed and stroke her hair while she cries,
laugh at Miss Monee’s jokes, older than herself,
stroll past Jim’s window to chat from outside,

chatter at the landlady
giving me a ride,

and end up belonging,
even if it’s love I tried.

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