Red Light Green Light

When the comedian on morning radio
makes a joke about white women who think
the universe is telling them something

I think I would quit—


if I could.

The traffic’s just-before-rush-hour pattern,
cars darting lane to lane, all speed and brake,

mirrors my constant rearrangement
of the day’s dull but necessary elements.

The moment both lights at the intersection are red
is like the moment between breaths.

The van slowing for a man crossing in a wheelchair
he is powering by mouth with what looks like a straw
has a bumper sticker that says Funeral.

My desperate hope for magic
each day is selfish—isn’t it?—

but I still want it.


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