TCE Poetry: Walking Through Downtown Kitchener, Fifty Dollar Bill In My Front Pocket

an evening’s pay. a twinge of heart. my fingers flirt with its deep red, skim the unfamiliar face. it is a 30-minute walk to the bus terminal and 30 minutes until the next bus. I decide to walk. 

the Tim Horton’s sign jitters in the near distance. I pause at the front window. I want to try the boston cream. Basel claims it is the best they have, but he is easily impressed (he even liked the shawarma place on Highland). is it good enough to break a fifty for a donut? one of the employees glances at me. probably not. I turn back. 

on King Street, traffic light dallies in the intersection. the left brake of a vehicle, shining. the right broken. baba said you get a ticket for that in this country. I sneak my fingers into my pocket. the note is still there. my nails search for holes (you never know). I wonder if I can find an Aziz Nesin book at Second Look. do they even accept fifty dollar notes? I don’t work tomorrow. perhaps I can stop by and browse. 

in the distance, a Canadian flag flutters above city hall. where can I find a Canadian flag at this hour? is it strange to purchase one, when I am not a citizen yet? I turn onto Ontario street. I wrap my finger around my fifty. the street is quiet. the stillness of a sprawling suburb. in the lobby of Charles Street Terminal, the EXIT sign beams a lonely red. 

three more fifties and I can buy an iPod mini

Bashar Lulu Jabbour