it should be warm,
as i sit outside
i can feel it sailing air streams,
almost ready to port.
as i sit outside the green room,
outside on the experienced curb of a once white sidewalk,
once good for chalk art,
now scarred with the trails of bike middle passages;
the standing rainwater stains my tan perry ellis shorts.
i look at africa dangling around my neck;
one lone cowrie
shell spans from sudan to tanzania--
long distance to travel in search of a queen,
long distance to travel when only
one hundred and forty four thousand
can make it home.
inside the house--
inside the green room
young spades players prematurely boast
of who can win the most books;
reading each other's turns.
two tables had four,
one normally used for this hustle;
where each seat is warmed by bodies
with frozen poker faces.
outside the doorway
the bride and my friend descend on a plastic runway,
which covered the yellow orange yarn stemmed rug,
moderately soiled with kool aid and quarter water juice stains,
soiled by soles of steel toed boots
and dirt from heels of well traveled
which touched and felt khartoum dust
and mount kilimanjaro rocks.
before the entrance laid an antique broomstick;
the couple made,
into the green room.
amused at how comfortable they all are
at the one table,
the other table a make shift.
two sorghum plants and one forest colored bucket
sprinkled with millet seeds
once rested there;
hesitatingly removed and replaced
with a fifty two card deck.
three warm chairs--
the fourth player, her eyes drifted away from
big jokers and spade aces,
from wild deuces and red hearts,
club kings and diamond queens
to gaze through the venetian blinds;
as if they were trying to see what lies beyond card games
searching for the merchant's ship.
merchant's oil change sticker in the upper left driver side window
of the gray honda civic parked in the otherwise empty driveway
caught attention instead--
one hundred forty four thousand
her brow tenses,
the consummated couple smile in the doorway
watching her and the games,
to days where they played,
to nights where they played outside
and got their feet dirty
then went home.
she should be on this curb
then the journey back
wouldn't seem so long;
then winter would be warm