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It was summer in Charlottesville,
The heavy, humid heat oppressed us all.
I sweated and stood near the corner of 14th and Main,
In front of lemon grass and lucky seven junior.
Burnt thai food and losing lotto tickets assaulted my nose.
I ripped pages from a John Grisham best seller,
And let the yellow edged pages flutter down into the gutter.
A man asked me why I did this.
I answered, “’Cause I am a poor, black, sick woman.”
He admonished me, “Come on, now.”
And, he left me.
A woman approached me and called me a performance artist,
And said that my point had been made.
I smiled at her.
I noticed her purse was bigger than her head.
She had more space for her wallet and keys than for her brain.
I laughed at this—low and mean.
She demanded I give her the remnants of the book.
I gave her the novel, saving the last chapter for myself.
It told me in code to find a room to myself.
I moved from a triple wide guest room to a
Hospital room to a
Studio on Grady to a
Padded cell
Roaming to find my space.