275-20: Backsee

They didn’t tell her this like so, but everybody know that she get fired cuz her backsee stick out hard-hard in them cheap uniform pants.  Hear the joke; yuh think a fast food franchise that make nuff money off of dealing fat and sugar to people would have simple common sense to acquire staff uniforms  with a little more waist, a litte more hips for the thickly-inclined? They can’t afford it? More like they don’t want to afford it! So she now have to hold her breath tight to squeeze-up in dem two piece of ting they call leg pants. And every morning she praying to Jesus that they put her on cash and not on clean-up.

 

You know what rotund does mean? She get fired because of that type of backsee…round and rotund. Suggestive, they say.  In trut, I find it to be quite regular, but I work fries and ain’t get promoted to consultant just yet..

So…

 

Backsee big and bad. But not too-too bad cuz assistant manager keep calling her into the back office.  Dropping sweet lines left and right. Lines of a promising future in the service industry.  Telling she to stand tall and all typa mess like reach for the top as he recline nice in the manager’s leather chair.  Nasty snake. No wonder she scratch up he face like that. Good for him.

So they fire she.  One time.


That’s why me, I here in this breakroom and I keep to myself, smile when called and yam-up these white people salad we selling now so that my frame tight like they like, and wallet fat like I need.

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Peanuts inna Baltimore

They are allergic to peanuts.

They  work at a small peanut oil processing plant.

They touch, smell and taste peanuts all day.

Pick it.

Press it.

Bottle it.

And Big Man dey watching from his high office.

 

Most don`t speak Big Man`s language.

All don`t get paid enough.

All are forced to work. There are no other jobs.

They need the little bit of cash to pay for their anti-histamine.

 

They are allergic to peanuts.

They work for a small peanut oil processing plant.

The few who speak with Big Man plea.

They show their  bleeding hives

They show their swollen eyes.

Those who can speak

Those who are not choking on the floor

scream

we are allergic to peanuts.

we are allergic to peanuts.

 

Big Man says to be quiet.

Don`t blame peanut oil, after all its done for you.

 

Big Man wipes the white spittle from the corner of his pasty lips.

 

Are you sure it is peanut oil that is the problem?

What if it was grapeseed oil?

What if…canola

what if…olive

what if…sesame

Don`t blame the peanut. Peanut is good for us.  Peanut is good for business.

He say:

If you have a problem, you should wear a mask.

If you

have a problem

you

should..

 

But don’t blame the peanut.  Peanut is good for us.  Peanut is good for business.

But we workers know that this here is a  big fucking peanut oil processing machine.

Not next type of oil,

Not what-if oil

Ah Peanut  Oil we ah talk bout.

We work here. We live here.

Mask on or Mask off

We can`t breathe.

 

Together, We spill the bottled oil on our bodies and ignite the fire.

Together, we barge the barricaded office of Big Man and forcefully bring his room-temperature body next to our burning flesh.

 

Together, We jump into the extraction machine.

Hear the bones crack.

Like the dry husk of the peanut.

275-9: The Black Rivers

A stream of brackish water trickles down the pavement’s slope and conflates before it kisses the brim of my shoe; and I am thinking of black history month. My vision simultaneously focuses on two streams, divided, yet from the same source, heading in the same direction. I focus my attention on the stream on the right and listen to the sweeping undercurrents of assimilation. It meanders, compelled by the gravel stones of capitalist interests , municipal planning and negative peace. It exhumes the stench of a sweat-stained gym shirt, worn proudly by a gaunt rookie. Relentlessly he reaches for a bar set just out of his reach and insidiously smothered with grease by his his very own teammates. They have no intention of making you captain, bruh. In fact, they don’t want you on the team. The first stream crashes against the clipped wing of decaying pigeon. The other stream quickly rolls by with direction and conviction, galvanized by the pull of frustration and non-conformity. It pushes paternalistic pebbles out of its path, losing a bit of itself at every encounter. It loses steam despite its militant efforts to push through. It exasperates, inches before reaching a nearby puddle.

I inhale and place the butt of a tightly rolled joint at the crest of my ear. Bending down on one knee, I trace my two index fingers along the wet paths of the two black rivers. Each finger then draws intersecting diagonal lines across my forehead. I breathe deeply and swallow the taste of earthy contemplation soaked in my spit. I light up, inhale and extinguish in the plant outside of my office building. Onward.