When the Cop Tells Us

by William Fargason

William Fargason

to call our parents we do: we had been caught
drinking Smirnoff Green Apple behind

the Hoover Met. Then the cop tells us
he would’ve taken us in, my friend and I,

if we looked more scummy. At seventeen,
I believed this to be luck, as one might

believe the rain stopping right when you walk
to your car, or a string of green lights, I believed

that where we parked my friend’s truck
in the dark of that parking lot was a safe place

to drink on a Wednesday night, our two outlines
slumped against the truck bed throwing

the empty bottles into the edge of the woods.
Now, I see there is no luck in these situations:

we were white, and so was the cop
with his shining bald white head. If we’d been

Black we wouldn’t have been given the chance
to call our parents, we wouldn’t have been given

anything at all. And so we walked free. For almost
a decade later I believed in luck, in what

I thought we got ourselves out of, not realizing
our skin had opened an escape hatch

and would again and again and again.

Last updated July 26, 2022