Night Out

A room full of hookahs,
craft beers, slick cocktails,
and a blues-rock band:

are you surprised to learn
you could count the brown faces here
on less than two full hands?

Each of my hands is empty
as tonight I’m not drinking, not smoking,
just listening and speaking to friends.

I dig the tunes but feel 
an uneasy itch inside me.
It’s one thing to know of

a slow acting poison, 
another entirely
to be reminded of it

by a good moment
in a good place
with good people.

We leave early.
On the way back to the car, I fill
one hand with pepper spray.

Parked behind us:
a pickup truck
with a big bad flag

hanging on the back,
and I tighten my grip
on what little safety I have.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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