The Day Before Thanksgiving The Habitual Wordsmith Gives Us An Early Helping Of Food With "A Long Walk"

BY: T.J. LOVE

These feet aren't mine

I didn't craft them
Nor do I pay rent for them
They were borrowed

Used
Blisters
Corns
And all
Irregularly shaped toes
Overgrown nails
Crackling skin
But they carry me
As far as my anxiety will allow

I listen to "Wet Sand"
To drown out the sounds
Of my own self-doubt

I hate wallowing in pity
I'd rather suffocate
Smother myself in the
Smoldering remains
The embers of my fiery passion
Flicker and fizzle out

I found that this took a dark turn
As I look around
And forget where I am
Time to turn back

I'm black in a foreign suburban land
And we all know what that entails

I hesitate
The end of summer air
Dares me to continue
But despite barely existing
I do enjoy having an existence
To whine about
I prefer my chest,
As heavy and nervous as it is,
To remain hole-free

I have enough lead in my blood, officer
I won't be needing anymore
Thank you though

Cars are skating past me now
Little lives in transit
En route
I wonder where they're off to
And I begin to feel offended
Because I wasn't invited

I was never cool enough
Sometimes I was too cool
Too morose
Too intelligent
Too standoffish
To become someone's next regret

I'm at a point in my life
Where my thoughts no longer
Bear repeating

So I'm hoping this breeze
Caught all that
I was singing
Barely audibly
Before I paused my lips

Kids are on the court
With their grandfather
Playing basketball at 10:30
Always thought the park
Closed at 10

White privilege
Wish I was white enough for a game
I immediately see myself
Crossing grandpa while
The spawn of his spawn watch
I would abuse those replaced knees
I would spot him ten
Then give him eleven straight
Maybe push it sixteen
Depends on my cardio
I fell all the way off
And full court is no longer
An option

Nah, son.
Can't do it

Cops have a sixth sense
And this is Minority Report
And I'm a minority
And I pose a minor threat
As a former English Major

So I pass
Grandpa
And his manhood
And his knees
Are spared

The house is no longer
Out of sight
Out of mind

What was once a mirage
Is now a green garage
Whatever I'm feeling
Needs to be dislodged
Tucked away

Appearances must be kept
Deadlines must be met
Fabricated smiles
Muted minds
I must remain professional
And smile
Genetically modified lips
Pursed into processed curves

My headphones are now off

I enter the door
The dogs assault me
My girl questions my sanity
In the shape of
"Feeling better?"
Nah, son.

But it's showtime
My public awaits