Olu thinks it’s funny how hard white people try to avoid calling someone black.
It is normal to have no faith in the justice system
And nice to be surprised
Although that is not what happened today.
I go to the Bronx in my best white guilt
Convinced everyone black hates me. Why not?
Just the other day I was walking Charlie
And a black man approached me quickly
With his hands in his pockets.
I was scared.
Charlie wasn’t scared.
Charlie sniffed a bag. Ayanna gives me a ride to
The train station because it is dark outside
And this is not a good neighborhood.
As we speed along the BQE she tells me
She is dating a jewish guy, “I didn’t know they liked
Black women,” she says. “Yes, I think they do,” I say
As if I’m some expert. He thinks they
Have a lot in common because both of their
People have been massacred. Ayanna’s friends
Are afraid they had sex too quickly.
Dominic is the second man this month
Who has commented on how lucky he is
To be white.
Holly Coddington is of average height and average build. She has small ears and an almost red beard. Also, I think of her as being big but she is actually of average height or perhaps even shorter than average. She is not a very average person. She has a dog, Charlie. They live in Denver, Colorado where Holly teaches composition. Other work has appeared in Prelude, Forklift, OH., Sonora Review and Fungi Magazine.