It didn't happen in a Crack-house
nor with the flick of a lighter
I called him a Crackhead
-I had no choice
It's been 28 years since Crack hit the streets
when I called my friend a Crackhead
I doubt he knew about freebasing, snowballing
or burning it on a spoon
or how it could melt in lemonade
But the notion alone of being called a crackhead made his body shake
His young hands shiver with fear and anger
I suppose his reputation, pride joy of being
Made Public and Private
I saw it -almost- yet unbelieving
like a crack of a whip he went into a funk
His eyes burned crimson
Like after an overdose of Ginseng
His back appeared to breathe
In the vein of a Dragon lizard
or an angered little boy
He was in a state of turmoil as a mother-in-law
having a dark vision
And then as his hands gripped my throat -but we were friends, weren't we?
It could have been a toss of a coin to guess who would crack-up first?
As my breath shortened I felt the Crack get longer!
Deeper and more perilous
with no return in sight.
My memory floated back obscurely to l984, living on the streets of Harlem
Where my landlord, running his cold-wash-only laundromat, sold single cigarettes
And Crackheads selling little bags on my stoop
I laughed in the dim as I approached the threshold
The dealers jived me with light chuckles
looks were exchanged
and I pushed the door open with a screech.