Elvis Alves

The Fire in My Brother

My brother tells me he does not see skin color. That he sees
credentials and (work) performance. He says this after I tell him
blacks are last to hired and first to fired.

My brother runs after the taxicab with a baseball bat in hand. He is
on the Westside Hwy, near the Brooklyn Bridge Ext. A white man in the
taxicab (moments before) spits in his face. He had cut off the cab. The
white man is the passenger. Words are exchanged between him and my
brother. Then the spit happens. And my brother running after the cab with
he bat. The cab cannot go anywhere because of traffic. My brother
catches up with it. And smashes the back window with the bat, where the
passenger sits. His spit still on my brother’s face. The police show up and
arrest my brother. After a night in jail, he is slapped with a court date which
he shows up to. The white passenger does not show up to witness against my
brother. The judge lets him go because of this—with a fine.

Years later, my brother tells me about credentials and performance. I
want him to say I feel your pain. I wonder what happened to the fire
that was in him the night he ran after the taxicab with a baseball bat
in hand.