“Thank God they’re only rubber,”
I think, as the bullets
Rain down on us like hail.
We try to move with the crowd,
As it scatters like the rats
Who usually rule these streets.
One wrong move, one slip of the foot,
We’ll go down and if we do,
There will be no getting back up.
Feeling the hard welts
That are starting to rise
Around my tender, aching ribs,
I think, “How did this happen?”
How did a Cinco de Mayo street party
Degenerate into this?
Mad panic free for all;
Every man, woman and child for themselves,
In a vicious storm of black, rubber bees.
About this time, to my pleasant surprise,
I realize I’m still holding my beer.
“Thank God for small favors,”
I say to myself while simultaneously realizing
That’s a lot of Jesus talk for this atheist.
I’m running wildly now and
Have no idea what’s become of my friends.
“They know how to get home,” I think,
“I can’t hold their hands all the time.”
Turning a corner, into an alley,
I am stopped dead in my tracks,
My beer bottle slipping from my fingers and
Smashing loudly in the street below.
Blocking my way are 6 fully armed riot cops,
Their guns trained on my torso.
As I drop to my knees and put my hands up,
I have the abstractly lighthearted thought,
“Even bees can kill you if they sting you all at once.”