Nathaniel Jones —
dances The Slider
in a Cincinnati White Castle.
We called his dance “The Slider” ‘cause…
if you don’t know, go Google something
and for slavery’s sake don’t ask me what his race was.
Goddess knows which drug it was that powered him –
him being that huge
but whatever drug it was
it’d pushed him all the way from Cleveland south to Cincinnati
in what could have only been one or two hells of a hurry
without so much as a thought
and he was hungry when he got here.
Got in line to order but the line was long
so he danced to pass the time.
Didn’t know the cops were called.
Seems there was a woman there in some distress
so the cops were called to help her.
danced the three part Slider
as a way to pass the time
while waiting for his order.
Yep, danced the three part Slider the way we saw it later
Part 1: Big man’s slip-‘n’-slidin’.
Part 2: The cops come in and—
C’mon now, friendly human, say the big man’s name
(just skip back up the page if you’ve forgotten)—
like I said, the cops come in
and the big-man-not-in-question decides not to risk it
and boogies his way on out,
which leads us to…
Part 3: Nathaniel Jones—
Did you say his name yet, fellow human?—
stands at the edge
of the White Castle lot
looking at his city
as if he’s staring out to sea.
Yeah, I know, you knew this would happen—
pushes back when the cops come get him
falls out the bottom of the cop car camera’s dream frame
and I can’t see him dying
and I can’t see him dead.
On another night
somewhere in drunken Cincinnati
I’m watching John Travolta on tv
and I’m thinking,
white men can’t dance,
Hell, I don’t even trust my sweet white self
to do Phase 1 of The Slider,
so it makes a certain kind of sense
that I don’t dream of Mr. Jones at all,
leastwise not too much.
But I do wake up sometimes wonderin’
if I don’t dream of him,