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Quraysh Ali Lansana




body shop


i've heard tale of a hustle
in brooklyn where clever folks
throw themselves in front of cars
lurching down eastern parkway

not the beat-up green mini-vans
or duct tape toyotas of poets, not
impalas bleeding chrome
spinning disposable testosterone

but mid to high end machines
of certain insurance booty, drivers
in the 30 to 50 year range, same
demographic as oprah's audience

i suppose there is a right and wrong
approach to this science, the angles
of minimal damage to consider, side
to bumper, back to door, head up

unless her poodle is well groomed.
few have retired, i would speculate
but work less now that checks
lack bounce and the mailman walks briskly

it must be the eyes, wide and clean
that distinguish ordinary jaywalkers
from these impact alvin aileys.
are classes offered in this discipline?

at utica i marvel at the desperate genius
the split-second calculus, the risks and gains
of such occupation, before descent
into the dark anonymity of the 4 train.