Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The Drunk Walkers

integrated. obeyed the laws

of scrutiny. mimicked

the sameness of privilege. knowing

our demons had a casual acquaintance


with one another. cocktails,

pinochle, perfect table

settings with name cards carefully delineating

the who is who of who

in the book of whom.

we all knew to be

a preordained percentage.

mocking the white middle class

seems so deliciously retro.

look at the photographs.

posh Negro women

strutting Saks 5 wrangled

frocks from sisters passing

as sale clerks or under the table

union shop rebellions never to be outed.

savoring piece work in The Courier.

oh, high society! how precious

remembering

the pre-ordained silent

subversive community.

until we started to dismantle

the stress of ceasing

to be gatekeepers.

took our education

to the courts. open

doors. and the sight of shot guns

from both sides asking why

would you unweave

this precious

precarious fabric?

the dinner parties with poker,

place cards, china


and back street high street

frocks. unraveled some so much

that a secret society

formed. A solemn

order was born.

the women

make and do and

do make. lovely.

but, when they break,

we must never let others

know. we are fragile

people walking off the crazy

we drink. looking so pretty

and deadly sober come morning.

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