November 22

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Hazards on, I parked
in the alley by the stairs
to drop off a friend,

had taken out the carseat
no sooner than a Wrangler
pulled up to park

in the covered spot
opposite, and couldn’t make
the turn

but tried with angry angles,
revving, reversals—
I left her at the elevator,

rushed out,
ready with a quip,
a jokey treatise

on chance
and inopportune
timing, but the driver

cut me short with
You see that red line?
drawing one himself,

so I filled in my side
with look at this rain
and did you see that baby?

—I don’t care
if you have ten of them
,
do you see that red line,

so then I turned my back,
so well-inured to, so weary
of this sort of shilling

that I almost missed
his conclusion, there’s no
sign there, they cannot

ticket you, so don’t worry—
I met his gaze, watched
him wave down

placating palms in the same
way one does to calm
an angered animal, or child,

and in his soft accent he said 
you didn’t inconvenience me,
look, I parked, it’s fine— 

and I made a few mumbled sounds
of thanks and drove off fast,
surprised that I was crying.

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