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Tauwan Patterson

Sunset Blvd.


We first locked eyes next to the Viper Room,
across from the Whisky. I gave the nod,

he gave no response. My eyes quickly darted elsewhere,
focusing on anything — the tiny bottle of clear booze in his hands/his fit/

the interior of the liquor store he was exiting — to squash the awkwardness,
briefly mourn the Black male camaraderie now lost. Turning right,

heading south, here we were again, crossing paths. God 
must be trying to tell me something
came across 

unsaid in the urgency of his tone, his quest
to now gain my undivided attention.

Man, look.
I’m out here

from New Jersey.
Five dollars to my name.

I’m trying… I mean
I have Cash App.

But I only have 
Five dollars… Crazy

shit man.
I’m out here.

Girl had me
believing she was pregnant.

I stood there rapt, scanning his face, ashamed 
for wondering if — game recognize game

the acne all over his mug was a product of a hard knock life.
His plea continued.

I sang the standard Sorry man, 
no cash. 

He followed up with a quick You got Cash App? 
Apple Pay?…

Another sea of no’s 
breaking the chain. 

No anger in his voice, he shouted
I’MMA BE AIGHT THO! from the middle of the street.

I turned around, wanting to acknowledge his pending come up
with a head nod, a non verbal fa sho. That’s what’s up.

But he was gone. Lost again 
to the streets like a rocket in flight. 

Jeffrey Alfier Matin_Bleu.jpeg
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