CEDAR RAPIDS (south side)
in the black night,
swaying to the beat.
Just me and Bill...
two sets of blue eyes
in a sea of brown.
In the wrong place
at the wrong time.
We might as well wear signs
that say DYNAMITE.
Would you like to dance, white boys?
Well, you're too lovely to resist,
and Bill knows lots of these cats--
grew up around here, he did.
Nothing to worry about.
Holding her now--
but from the corner of my eye
I see the switchblade gleaming,
reflecting neon. Angry words
cut through the stolid air.
Are you talkin' to me?
The powder keg ignites.
The whole joint explodes.
Brothers fighting brothers,
some trying to get us, others shouting
"No man, leave 'em alone!"
A fist slams against my temple,
winning my attention. The agitated
dude with the blade is stalking Bill.
It's happening too fast to think.
Then, out of nowhere,
the hand of an ally--
or an angel--
grabs mine. I am pulled,
through the confusion.
I stumble into the starry night,
and hearing the sirens approach,
I am filled with a sense of dread
that Bill has gotten the worst of it.