The Cooper Do-nuts Riot

A coffee shop is a quiet place: a serene pause
from the trials of reality and from the bustle
of these busy Los Angeles streets.
The radio on the barista’s counter is playing Billie Holiday,
The impossible will take a little while,
the man in front of me has rouge on his cheeks
and with a twinkle in his eye, orders a cup of joe–
the barista smiles and gets him his fix,
and I feel almost as warm as the coffee she pours,
forgetting about the faces that scorned me
before I walked down Main Street.
The doorbell rings as it’s hit by the glass doors of the café,
and my peace is interrupted by wartime again.
“Let’s see some ID,” says the police officer, and they grabbed
the man with rouge on his cheeks.
They take almost everyone, as long as you don’t look like they do.
They’re shoved into the police car, crying and wondering
why they’re considered criminals for not looking like their ID photo.
I stand and fume at the broken solitude,
the screams of my brothers and sisters, the spilt coffee and overturned tables.
I take my coffee mug and throw it at the sadistic son of a bitch
who’s disrupting the peace more than protecting it.