I CAN’T PRACTICE TONIGHT

My own car is parked across town at my partner’s place
I can’t practice my keyboards tonight
Making music is a far cry from nowhere, now
In this scattered mind driven to alarmed glances out the window
Every ten minutes by anxiety from the 911 call
I made again only three days ago, and three days before that
In broad daylight the first time, and then at 4AM the second time
I was still up, reading, when they vandalized my friend’s pickup truck
They attached a charger to his battery the first time with obvious intent
Same guys, same truck, same hollering obscenities at 3AM, loud hip-hop
Blaring in the parking lot from the apartment that lets him in
We glared eye-to-eye while I walked from the doorway to my own car
Next day, and I don’t know how it would have turned out
Had it come to other than eye contact, watching my every move
It isn’t just my dimmed apartment lights
—I don’t think he knows which window is mine—
It’s more my alarmed glance out the window at every clamor
Thump, car-door shut, every yell from the parking lot, or scream
My mobile phone always within reach, my scattered nerves
—I don’t want another Night on Bald Mountain—
My own car parked across town tonight, at my partner’s place
I can’t practice my keyboards tonight

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