Sunday, September 14, 2008

A (half) day in court

By Camincha


Department 3. Superior Court. Redwood City, CA

The jury is deliberating a
a criminal trial.


Summer. It goes to your head.
Heat. It intoxicates you.
Women. Resemble flowers:
geraniums, roses, a daffodil over there.

9:15 a.m.

The police woman, she could
she might
out of Bazaar, Elle, Vogue.
Gucci shoes. Italian hand-knitted stockings.
Someone compliments her.
Merrily, she flaps her arms, showing off,
a scarecrow hit by heavy winds.

Genuine smile: Good morning.
You are the interpreter. No?

9:30 a.m.
The bailiff in Department 4,
a serious actor with a stellar role in the stage version
of NUTS, winks:
Beautiful day, isn’t it?

10:00 a.m.
The black defendant, young kid with baby face,
innocent-looking eyes.
Why is he carrying a leather briefcase?
Why is he
designer’s shoes and shirt? Why does he look like
aA washed-down version of the elegant
police woman?
He is accompanied by a relative.

10:30 a.m.
Police woman from Bazaar, Elle, Vogue:
Well, if this fiasco ever goes....
Broadening her smile, at least the victim is safe,
upstairs. My men are babysitting him.

11:00 a.m.
Hallway is empty. Silent. Inside,
a kid’s destiny is


Camincha is a pen name for a California-based writer based in Oakland.

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