A Present State of Pride


by Stefon Napier




One late evening after work,

just hanging out in traffic,

waiting for people to get it:

There comes a casual intensity.

It hits you just as traffic begins

to move, just as a buzzing occurs and

a pain is growing in your ears as a

wound crawls down your back:

Waiting for you to get it.

And you could go home now if you

wanted to: Taking 79 up to Elsberry,

still thinking about it all. You could go

home the same man as tomorrow; and

perhaps even, yesterday. The indigo evening

raised above the lazy grassland, the occasional

rustic truck stop, the radio tying the Cardinals in the bottom

of the ninth, and the glowing dashboard washing the

shadows off your face:

All of it waiting for you to get it.