Audacity

Photo Credit: By Ali Arif Soydaş @aliarifsoydas

 

Concrete painted the color of our scars
red for the blood of every gangsta who died
believing that defending a street corner
was keeping it real
for every nigga who wears degradation
like it’s his first name
every rebellion
that hates nothing more than truth but a mirror
prissy pink for every woman
who thought her legs were the railroad tracks to femininity
purple for every woman who wore her hips like monkey bars
and her heart like a welcome mat to trample on
when the hatred is spread so generously across her breast
that she feeds this to every “no good man”
she can’t deny a place between her legs
for every tire streaking soot of alcoholic footprints
leading to 24 hour liquor stores
like “look how easy this money is”
green for all the trees whose winters are too brutal
to change from the boo-boo brown of its community
not when hope still hangs it’s strings in the crack filled streets of Harlem
where faith whispers it’s goodbyes to chains and locked doors
the ones with concrete style floors
and bronze heavens
and every prayer is polluted with “I told you so’s”
for every struggle
just remember
that the sun still has the courage to rise in the mornings
which means that the day still has the audacity
to be beautiful…

Psa 3:5 “…weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”

Break the Chain

44p078

Thought I saw her self-esteem in the carpet.
Her back bearing the burden of bare floors
and
forks that scraped the bottom of clay plates
Thought I saw pain on the side of her state
of mind.

Thought I saw her spirit cut low like the grass.
Scattered pieces of forgetfulness floating fluently throughout her bones
that
clung its skin like melted wax welding its warring arms wildly in the sun
I asked her
Why she allowed herself to suffer she said, “I’m waiting for a change to come.”

I walked on…

bc565d5dbe3e9e1d247140a187c790ac
I felt metallic liquid lick my cheeks, the blood of one who’s hung.

His body shriveled up in the bowels of his own sadness,
His face “a raisin in the sun

I can see that his faith had fallen down to his knee caps.
But his eyes bulged boldly on and his life sped passed me in just a few years
Till my taste buds could create a meal from the salt I saw dancing in his tears
Telepathically he told me
that he didn’t die right here beneath this oak tree
But, “stepping foot inside this land is what killed me” He said
And like a mad woman I stared deep into a dead man’s eyes and said, “I see.”
I said.

So why do you hang out here like one whose been hung?”
He told me, “Cuz I’m waiting for a change to come”

I walked on….

At Play Near The Robert Taylor Houses

And this time crossed the Jordan
And I could hear nothing but the soft laughter of children in my ears
Shouting…jumping,
till I realized I had not entered the promised land,
but this was a street court filled with Jordan fans
Where
hope bounced back and forth to the sound of merciless concrete
polished “Niks” was like knives reaching for revolution in the air
it was cold
but the men were hot
contradictory

the American dream tied around the wings of the goddess of victory
these were project kids with $200 dollar Nikes
unknown vehicles hitting the streets
and then the seats
were suddenly empty

I realized then that I had been standing in the middle of a blank street
a court turned into a corpse
Low income homes now funeral homes, they trampled upon one another
fighting to “one up” one another
silently and still
I saw it
pieces of paper scraped up and scattered to the four corners
(Guess that’s why were still fighting one another for street corners)
a
basketball balled up and clumped like a clot of blood
carved into the cracks in the streets where crack addicts one day roamed the streets
I asked
this balled up clot of hopelessness “Where are you from??
it told me,

I wish to go back… but I am waiting for a change to come.”