i was sitting in the dark. i preferred to sit and not look at a screen and not to lie down. i had been lying down. it made my heart murmur worse when i lay down for too long. i decided to take a walk late at night. a young black man with a black hood sweat shirt appeared. he had a big smart phone. we walked next to, behind, and in front of each other. the black modern building on the east side of the burnside bridge looked like a stealth bomber. i wanted to say something but i also didn’t want to say anything. i didn’t want to give myself away. i wanted to hang onto my breath. i stopped walking. i didn’t think it would be good for us to walk next to each other without saying anything. i could hear the blood in my ears and not much else. we were involved in something that was stronger than us. i was concerned we would act on fear or on not knowing what was going to happen next. he may not have been interested in anything other than what was on his smart phone. i didn’t feel i would be able to get myself out of the situation in time if i didn’t do something. he kept walking. he didn’t turn his head back to look at me like i had done. i had pulled out my smart phone so that he would see that i too had one like his and that i was resourceful. it didn’t make me feel safe because i had no idea if he had seen it. his black hood was pulled up and on his head. i had seen his young face before we got on the bridge. it had no expression on it. his eyes were white. i crossed to the other side. i hated him for looking down at his smart phone and walking next to me at the same time. i looked to see if he would come over to me. i decided i would use the metal stairs that went down to the east bank if he did. i felt bad that i wasn’t able to overcome my fear. i remembered a white teacher who said that i should go to african americans when i said that they never came to me. another black man not far ahead of me was yelling to feel himself or to resist the emptiness he may have felt. i was relieved to walk behind him. another black man walked by me. he had a dog with a thick neck on a leash. he looked at me intently. i held his gaze. why were these black men on the burnside bridge at one in the morning? there were another two older black men lying down on the downtown side of the burnside bridge. i crossed back to the the other side where men were in sleeping bags.
four white fascists had the young black man on the ground.
get off him, i said.
one of the white men had a swastika above his left brow. he had the young black man’s smart phone in his left hand. he was looking down at it and thumbing it.
a young blond woman with crosses on her forearms giggled. she had unusually innocent eyes. she stabbed me in the stomach.
what the fuck are you smiling at nigger lover, she said.
give him back his phone, i said.
blood dribbled from my mouth. i lay down.
the young blond woman had on white sneakers and no socks.
in my dream i was with a black woman i had dated. we were on a train. we were inspected by the authorities. i didn’t have my things in order. i hadn’t seen the black woman for a long time. we had had a falling out. she re appears in my dreams because i never stopped loving her. she lay down. her vagina was shiny and hairless. it smelled how it had when i was with her.