tiny chick. denim capris, nose ring, short hair. purple earbud headphones. you probably see twenty of me a day here in broad ripple, but i only saw one of
scrawny guy in a navy blue tee. late 40s. filthy socks and nike benassi sandals held together by a prayer. your breath smells like cheap mash alcohol. you were yelling at two younger guys on benches when i strolled up. you followed me.
you told me i was the first white girl who could hear you through my earbuds. you told me you’re living on the street. you told me you hurt so bad. i believed you, and you could tell. we shook hands at the place where the monon meets broad ripple ave, the south side. you asked me to buy you mcdonalds. i said no, i wasn't going that way, but i offered to pick you up something from CVS. you hesitated, then agreed. i suggested a candy bar but you said your teeth. you can’t eat sweets. barbecue chips, you say. close enough, i think. all that corn syrup. but i agreed. i said i'd be back.
i bought the bag at the pharmacy. the image on the cellophane is two white people driving into the sunset in a convertible. a woman’s face in profile. i think that i’ll tell you, look, two white people going on vacation got turned into the chips inside. i think that i’ll tell you there weren’t any ethnics on the bags, unless you count that the lays bag is already yellow. i think that i’ll tell you someday this will be you and me.
back at the crossroads where we met initially you were nowhere to be found. the two guys you had been yelling at were there starting fires in the air with a travel can of hairspray and a lighter. one was saying he used to start them in his room. the other thought it was a bad idea. i didn’t leave the chips with them. they seemed like enemies of yours.
reply to this and tell me what I dropped on the monon, what you watched me pick up from a distance. you were cautious, hopeful, like something might be left behind for you.