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2:33AM © 1998 Mick Cusimano
The first poem That I wrote for the Zone Poets

Ití s 2:33 AM The poetry reading is over. The Lizard lounge is closed. Jeff Robinson and the trio have gone home. But several poets decide to make a late night of it. We donít have to work tomorrow. We cruise into Chinatown grooving on Motown music. Waiter can we order egg foo yung and chicken fried rice? Also can we order spare ribs?

Speaking of spare ribs we look outside to a disturbing sight. Hookers in miniskirts hustling the drivers of every car passing by. Soliciting desperate guys looking for that quick fix in the middle of the night.

Itís a sorry sight to see these women spending their youth this way. When youíre young you should be exploring many choices, many possibilites. Suddenly it occurs to me. Today is Labor Day. Why do hookers have to work on Labor Day.

Should we order pork fried rice or Chinese vegetables? So many choices.

Isnít this holiday supposed to celebrate a day of rest in honor of hard working Americans. Arenít these women known as working girls? Donít they deserve a break too?

The pimps in their fancy suits and wide brimmed hats around the corner could care less. Who has the mixed vegetables with broccoli?

Women of the street rise up. Put away those high heels and tell your pimps that youíre taking the night off. Youíre an American and you deserve the same rights as others workers. Take the night off. Stop in a Chinese restaurant. Look at all the many choices on the menu: egg foo yung, chicken fried rice, cold noodles, spare ribs. Many choices, many possibilites.

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