Kennedy Park

Intimate spaces were hard to come by as an 18-year-old in love. The back seat of my car next to Kennedy Park, often did the trick. Jamal was in my arms when two white officers startled us, banging on the window.

“What are you doing in there? Come out right now,” the cop demanded.

Terrified, we hurried outside. She surveyed my I.D. while her partner inspected the vehicle. Found nothing.

What will my parents say if I get arrested? I thought, sweat falling down my brow.

We stood there, trembling in the middle of the street. Two Black boys out of place. Brown skin reason enough for suspicion.

“I’m letting you off. But you boys can’t be here doing...this,” she said, handing over my I.D.

We got in and sped off, too afraid to speak; quietly in pursuit of a place to be, free, together.