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#NPM Day 12- Where I'm From

#NationalPoetryMonth

Prompt: Where I'm from


There was a shoot out

one summer day

when I was a kid.

I was outside with my cousin between my family's building and my grandmother's building.

I probably could have been shot

deciding to walk through where the action was

to the safest place I knew.

Gamey's house.

I'd never seen my mother so worried and so mystified that my first response wasn't to just come home.

There was another one

a Sunday morning

years later.

I was with my dad and we were going to church early because I was in the youth choir.

We could have been shot.

That's where I'm from.


When I was in the 3rd grade

Spike Lee decided to film Clockers.

One morning my dad and oldest younger brother were in my grandmother's building.

He couldn't have been older than 3 or 4 years old.

Harvey Keitel

was

in

the

building

too.


Probably for a scene.

He thought my little brother, with his long braids

and high yellow

pretty self

was a girl.

This was the year I was pissed at Spike Lee.

My walking route to school was wholly interrupted.

That's where I'm from.


50 cent Marino's icees,

flipping them over and experiencing a completely different texture,

being fearless and licking wooden sticks,

fearless of splinters,

buying 4

and stacking them in brown paper bags:

the definition of wealthy.

Playing in project building hallways,

sitting

laying

carefreeing

on their floors

and surviving:

the definition of privilege.

Mystics from the corner store

and those sparkling carbonated drinks.

25 cent bags of Doritos they now shamefully put in $3.99 joints.

Penny candy

that was 5 and 10 cents

by the time it got around to us.

Summer meals at schools I didn't go to.

Unashamedly.

Project rivalry

superiority.

Project pride.

Block parties.

Heros and baconeggncheese before the gringos discovered it.

That's where I'm from.

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