“John Thinks”

Bus stop, after work
forgot my fucking umbrella
transmission blown
more money to throw away
feet are cold, check the time
last bus left an hour ago
some days, man, some days

taxi flagged, sitting down
wipe the rain from my brow
smile, somehow, state address
oh god, he wants to chat

his sister lives on the east end
in a tiny flat with their parents
John thinks
she should get a real job
but she says
lying to the government
is a job, collecting
her monthly payouts

They don’t really
give her much trouble
because she is pretty slow,
inbreeding does that, John thinks
it’s about the most
she’ll make of herself
hey, at least she contributes

She miscarried last year
and everyone was real sad
cause she would have been a good mom
John thinks
She’s real thoughtful, see?

Dull brown eyes stare
in anticipatory response
and I am lost
to conundrum
I cannot implore
this obscenely divulging stranger
to consider this event
a blessing upon humanity

but nor can I
in good conscience
encourage reproduction
of certain doomed ideals
and doomed genetics
to accept responsibility
for one’s words and
the support they offer

light turns red
we wait
his eyes, in the mirror
weak, my convictions
fall short to social nicety
“I’m sure she would have been a great mother!”
I blurt, and the light turns green

safe arrival at destination
I exit the Cab of Oversharing
and the wind slaps wet hair
against my cheek
wonder when my car will be done
can’t believe I forgot my umbrella
wish I hadn’t said that

Oh, I am a coward, and a fool.

© M. Black, 2016 All rights reserved.

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