LC Gutierrez

Rollin’


like I was bulletproof,

on payday night,

I would glide my bike

through the 7th Ward,

of New Orleans,

the street level

as a coffin nailed

down tight as my

knuckles, with 700

in bills folded flush in my

pocket, feeling the crisp

sting of spring air biting

my eyes. I was a drive-by

target, and I knew that

if an old Oldsmobile tailed

me it would be only time

before a gun beaded my head

and someone said

give it up. Then they

could have my wallet,

and the petty plastic

and small cash it contained.

And if I would make

that sacrifice I might

be spared a clean

shot to the skull and ride

with a wide grin, once I’d

again crossed Claiborne

and turned on Carrolton,

reaching down and tapping

that sweet spot where

my 700 dollars had gone

and turned to gold.

 

LC Gutierrez is a product of many places in the South and the Caribbean, as well as writing and comparative literature programs at Louisiana State and Tulane University. An erstwhile academic, he now writes, teaches and plays trombone in Madrid, Spain. His work is most recently published or forthcoming in Notre Dame Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, Sweet, Trampoline Journal and Hobart.