The Last American Outcast


So I went to the Smithsonian
And sought out the lunch counter
Taken from the Woolworth's in Birmingham some fifty years ago.
Slipping under the rope, I pick a pink stool and wait to be served.

Uppity weirdos the stench of outcasts stlll lingering in the air
Catsup hemorrhaged like blood thickened by the musk of history,
Me, the last of them here in their spectral midst.

The curator is called and comes clicking swiftly perplexed.
"You are in a restricted area. What do you want?"
"To be served.like the others", I say.
"But you're not even a.person of color ." she pleads quietly.
"No, and I am not Irish or Muslin or blind.they would be served."
"Who are you? What do you want?"
"Just a stuffed tomato with tuna salad .and an ice tea, no lemon."
"Who are you?" cocking her head like a chicken looking for defects.
"I'm a mentally ill American."
Her eyes widen, she grabs her phone calling for security.
"I have legal rights. You cannot discriminate",
Uniformed men pick me off the pink artifact, and cast me out.
I glance back at the ghosts, eating grilled cheese sandwiches.
I hear the click of coke glasses.the Jews, Gays and Latinos.

My time has not yet come. Me. The last outcast in America.
Not welcome at the lunch counter of this free and accepting land.

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