This Evening At Kwon’s

T his evening at Kwon’s Chinese Food in Pomona some brotha had called his order in. He wanted extra shrimp, yet didn’t want it put on his rice until he got there and could observe the operation. So he shows up looking all crazy. “Yeah, it’s me. The Shrimp Nigga. Order 162.” The girl brought out his order. He opened it up and said, “Alright, alright. Now give it to that motherfucker there…” he pointed at the cook, ” …and put a regular order of shrimp on this bitch. Just a regular order!” The girl handed it back to the cook and he put some shrimp on it. The brotha snapped his fingers and said, “Alright. alright. Looks right. Now that’s a regular order of shrimp, my nigga.” He handed it back to the girl and, since things were going so well to this point, starting drumming a beat on the counter. He bit his bottom lip, closed his eyes, and started to groove. He said, “Alright. Alright. Now hand it back to that motherfucker and he is gonna put on the extra shrimp, right?” The girl said yes. She handed it back and the cook heaped on more shrimp. “That’s it! Oh shit! That’s it!” She put the order in a plastic bag with all the attendant condiments and handed it to him. He said, “This is what a 72 with extra shrimp should look like! Not that bullshit they try and sneak on ya’ll because niggas don’t be watchin they asses.”

By Romus Simpson

Romus Simpson is a poet, cultural critic, and folklorist. Romus attended the Creative Writing Program and Black Studies Department at California State University at Long Beach and has many publishing credits including Callaloo, Voices from Leimert Park: A Poetry Anthology, and University Of Southern California Anthology. Romus is the winner of Sara Henderson Hay Literary Prize, Ann Stanford Poetry Prize (2nd Place), Palabra Poetry Prize, IBW-LA, and was a 2012 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Finalist.