A sense that something has happened

by Roberto C. Garcia

I enjoyed my time on campus, in its woods, its halls, 

the poets I met were very fine,


they all said gracious things.

Every lecture & featured speaker,


each new workshop, we got to know

one another through poems. 


Then the white snow began to fall.

White snow so alluring, so ordered,


dressed trees in the less mundane,

made the paths mysterious


like life lines on a palm.

Then someone keyed my car:


Fuck you in white against the navy blue,

someone keyed Fuck you—hid it in white snow,


we were all surprised.

Most of the white poets, like snow,


had floated into town together,

just them together, like in high school,


like in undergrad, like at work, 

so the rest of us withdrew to the dorms,


we drank wine, we danced, a woman kissed me kindness,

I, grateful, tried to forget hate, we all wondered what to think.


My professor asked me: Do you think your car was keyed

because you're black? I couldn't know for sure.


We sensed something had happened, but not what, exactly. 

The white snow returned—unyielding.