At the red light
In my car
between the cracks in the windshield
I see

This boy
He reminds me of someone
Maybe in the drink he bought
Arizona emblazoned on the can
Or the skittles in his hand
he’s throwing away the purple ones
or the hoodie
the hood is up and I can’t see his face
It’s in his gait
A swagger really
Easy and carefree, so very


But he’s with a white kid
This time
And they’re both wearing hoodies because it’s raining
And they both bought the Arizona and Skittles
And they both have a swagger
youthful and nonchalant
In that moment I am taken back
To that night in Sanford
Where it is dark and the street is lonely
and I taste copper

When my lungs clenched between invisible fists
Swallow their own blood
And my knees scraped and bruised
Beneath me throb with the force
Of the body dropped onto them
And the hole in my chest seems to spread in the dark
Insides becoming outsides
My hands covering it don’t make it any smaller
and I think of my mom

But that is not me really
Lying there
That is not me
And that is not
The other boy in the hoodie
With his friend

But still
It is us
Could have been
Or still can be

And those boys I just saw


I hope they both make it home
And the light turns green


~Terri Draper