Reggae Night

He reached out and touched me,

his cold hand snapping on my wrist

as he asked me to dance to that riddim…

I told him to get checked for anemia

on account of his cold, cold hands…

He tried to have a conversation

as I tried to wind and chakacha to

Mr Vegas and Beenie Man and Tanya…

His breath reeked of onions and cumin and

when he asked me why I wanted to solo-dance…

I told him I enjoyed my personal space,

especially when popping, locking and dropping it…

He looked wounded when I refused to reggae waltz

with him and his folded over capri pants…

I could’ve said I spoke no English,

but with those lights flashing in my eyes,

he could’ve countered with lines

in Patois, Yoruba, French, Swahili…

He could’ve been from anywhere,

so I settled for the truth

and my truth pissed him off.

His onion-cumin breath fanned my face,

and he wondered aloud why I came out

to a dance club in the first place…to dance alone?

I told him the truth then…

a night at the ER and a week from hell,

all I wanted was a night of dance and no ‘game’…

He turned away in anger and I yelled at him loudly

to go get checked for anemia…his iron must be low.

He never looked back.

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