Back on the Path

by Darren C. Goins

“Hey, I’ve got what you want”
screams the craggy redneck
with the Mullet before people
knew that wasn’t a fish

“Nah, come here, I gots
what you looking to….,”
barks the Nubian brother
wearing a nylon jumpsuit
with the jacket unzipped to here

Me. I’m on Peachtree wanting
to save money at first
to save my life now that I’ve
got attention from men
that I craved earlier but am
sweating now

Starting to walk back
briskly toward the Big Black Box
Side of an Old Ski Chalet
I’m dreading having set foot
in Peachtree City

Atlanta has too many Peachtree Streets
winding through the city like an
the biggest one will eat you up

Learning that lesson as a walk
turns to jog to full on
run with the clod of size
twelve court shoes behind me

“Awh. You gonna make me run”
he snickers, warns, threatens all
in one thick utterance

Amazed that I make it up the
spine of the snake
to the ramp
my chest heaves with the thick
syrupy, dripping, stinking air
of the dumpsters and the wafting
scent of cigarettes and deep fried
instant gratification,
Southern style

Georgia has reached out

and almost grabbed me

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