Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Lion’s Den

by Jose Angel Araguz

That’s what we call it:
the space where we try
to keep our dignity while
being stared at and corrected,

where coffee rushing
into paper cups
more and more sounds like a whip,
where our skin turns the temperature

of what steams, roils,
rises glimmering
with faces, where the groan of
a plastic lid onto a cup

feels dirty, where coins
fall like teeth, like stones,
like cold, gleaming light passed from
hand to hand over and over,

and you hear yourself
roar when it hits you
that you have done this exact
same thing a thousand times before.