Conversation After ClassJoseph Ross
for Branden I listened carefully, my furious chin seeming to rest in my hand. He told me of this assault on the subway two days before. Four guys jumped him after asking for his phone, his seventy-five cents. Who asks for seventy-five cents in America? It gets you laughter. He sits before me today with bandages around a limping mouth, his lips like cartoons. He ought to have tweeting birds circling his head. He knew it was coming, when it was coming, he said. He knew from the one guy’s look. This won’t end well, he said. So, he told me, he took off his shirt, knowing it was too restrictive. Here is a knowledge I do not have a degree in. I have nothing to heal this, nothing but seventy-five apologies that America’s morning is a dawn purple as the spreading bruises on his teenage back.
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