They’ve spruced this concourse
say si bon big bowl and tapas bar
mall you into sharpened nooks
spaces hard and private

But I am sick
to see codes of color in every crack
every wheelchair driver black
every kitchen worker brown
asian every gadget seller
only the bartenders white
we fliers an iced decaf grande
skinny vanilla mocha-shot pinoccio

Still the palette’s nothing new
what poisoned me is getting here
how coding isn’t just in stores
now it rules the checkpoints
my pale queue gliding
past the darker grinding line
our shoes comfortably tied
their bags splayed for dissection

Perhaps I’ve got it backwards
and was just stoned before
because three months ago
these colors merely blended
the lines looked mostly safe
the vestibule I’d glimpsed
at my pre-clearance interview   
seemed more haunted house than gulag
maybe I was just popping rainbow pills
that if the guy in charge was brown
I didn’t have to see the rest

No more.
The hangover pounds my brain
and on the on the train from terminal to C
no brown-to-blue eyes met
my health-conscious love avoided the grab-bars
but I held the cool metal
seeking the traces
of things in common like a cold
to inoculate the deeper virus
for which we have no mask

Share This: