Sunday, June 8, 2014


I used to work at a little store in Berkeley
I didn't work there very long
The owner told me to keep a closer eye
On the teenage black girls
In. Fucking. Berkeley.
Right up the street
From Berkeley High
I did what many white girls do
I gaped at him in disbelief
I think I said something about
Teenage girls in general
(No much better a view)
But I needed the work
So I looked for a new job
I got hired
At The Gap
Of all places
And weirdly
The climate was better
I wish I had been a customer
In that other store
Instead of an employee
It would have felt so good
To tell the owner
To fuck off
Go out and tell everybody what he said
But instead
I was hustling
And needing to stay
On his good side
After I left
I did often tell people what he said
"Off the record"
Because I didn't know
How long I might
Need a good reference
From a former employer
Needing a paycheck
Needing a reference
Jesus! I didn't even need it
As bad as some
Just enough to
Bend over
The fucking 99%
Of us
Bend over
In some way
In some shameful way
And it pisses me off
That I actually had it better
Than many
It's what masks
Are made of
I still have a smile
On standby
For bosses like that
Just in case

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