I apologize if I made your uptown ride uncomfortable. It's a very moving book, perhaps you should read it.
Maybe you'd like it. You looked so very awkward sitting there in the station in Crown Heights.
I think you have not spent much time in this part of the city before.
You should really read the book.
The one by James McBride.
Maybe you would understand why your train ride made you so uneasy then.
You found yourself in a neighborhood so full of history that, sometimes, it can't hold it all in and explodes.
These explosions come in a variety of forms -
They are gunshots.
Shouts of the police.
Poets on street corners.
Empty spray paint cans hitting the pavement.
Wrecking balls and jackhammers making ghosts of the beauties of the past.
Steel beams being put into place in that new apartment complex you think you might like to live in.
Hushed voices around the Passover table.
Paint splattering on Flatbush Avenue in early September.
Maybe, you would understand my tears and your discomfort when you read what I read on that 2 train that left from President Street.
In a chapter called "Daddy," you would find the words "an empty lot ... Nothing. A total waste."
When I look out my bedroom window, I see an empty lot that once held history.
I look up at the sky and pray to my color-of-water God, who was also the God of Moses and Harriet and Dr. King and Ruth and Maya and Rachel. I ask God what I'm doing here, in the midst of this exploding history. I still haven't gotten an answer.