You are standing at the checkout counter
in a 7-Eleven as the clerk waits
on the customer to your left. She rings up
his Krispy Kreme and hazelnut coffee,
then walks away, leaving you and your
bottle of 100 aspirin waiting for a minute and a half
before asking if she can help you.
Take a shower and scrub your arms and legs
with extra vigor. Put on a pair of white shorts and a t-shirt
with a picture (depending on your age) of the Beatles
or Kurt Cobain or Taylor Swift smiling. This works
best in the summer.
Open a bag of cotton balls (or use the ones
you’ve saved from previous bottles of aspirin)
then apply Elmer’s Glue to attach
them to your exposed black arms and black
legs. Don’t forget the back of your black
hands and your obviously black face. Read Mr.
Ellison while the glue dries.
Return to the 7-Eleven and exchange your bottle
of aspirin for the larger size.
Wait for the police.