Mervyn Taylor

Issue #
September 6, 2013

The Familiar

And after all this time I’m still
uneasy going into a place
full of white people, like that
bar in Coney Island, or the one
down in Maryland when I’d been
in the country only six months, and

the bartender said they didn’t serve coloreds.
Or that time in Cape Cod forty years later
when I stumbled onto
what must have been a private beach,
the way the families looked up,
reaching for towels as if I’d

come upon them naked. Sometimes,
even now, in a friendly
place such as this, I still
find myself looking around,
noting the one black guy in the corner,
his reflection in the glass nodding, ok.

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