Mice and roaches are my pets
My fridge is Adam and Eve naked
My tummy is growling, i’d kill for one
boiled egg, a slice of bread, or bacon

My mother lives behind the bathroom door
Flushing her veins with heroin
Shoving cocaine down her windpipe
Her Lyfe is amazing if you let her tell it
i sit back and think, it must be nice

My father tucks his pistol
how a business man tucks
his shirt
God i’m tried of dying,
i wouldn’t mind a hearse

My uncle rubs and tastes me
in places where he shouldn’t
i wonder if i’m gay?
Is Hell my final destination?
Was I born this way?

America wants me dead
Her. actions. pack. punches.

My uniform shirt is a cookout,
mustard stains everywhere
Sneakers holier than Sundays
i’m not ungrateful
i just wish
That i had shoe laces

Do i have to go to school?

If so, i should head out soon
It’s 10:17 am
i was supposed to arrive two
hours ago

Hallways smell like period blood
and old urine
My peers say the B-word like that’s
all they know

Throughout the day i feel the unspoken racist
tension from my teachers and staff
They heckle me, turn their noses up at me,
judge me

Constantly my teachers scream at me,
“If you don’t listen you’re
gonna end up like your father”
“If you don’t read out loud today
you’re getting a “F”
“Read that Macbeth”

Reading this Shakespeare ain’t gonna stop
me from getting shaken down by the police
or shot by one of my homies
Or it won’t put food in my rumbling tummy

Me and words always have a bloody
brawl whenever they roll off of
my tongue
So i rather not read
My peers laugh at me
Throw sucker punches and jabs at me

“What did i do to deserve this?”
i ask myself daily

i pull out tissues by the hour
but Kleenex can’t fix bullet holes

i hate school because
it feels and look like prison
Or does prison feel and look
like school?
Either way i’m confused
because everyday of my life
i get mentally, physically, and spiritually

Maybe the reason why other kids stay
in the hallway, is because the classrooms are 10 below
And we all know it is difficult to learn in the cold

i raise my hand and get teased because “i think i’m white”
Because my biggest dream is to become the president
But in order to apply i have to be 35
But society says that i won’t make it to 21
Forget it

i am not an experiment
i am not Pinnochio
i am a real boy
We have to get rid of this devil
named Gepetto
This devil named race
“What are you looking at James? Get
put of my face”
So now i’m fighting with James
and Ashley is fighting with Kim
All because we are kids, fighting
the same demons and all they do is

The school bell rings
School is over

i have to walk home and
the journey is scary
Because every five minutes i gotta look
over my shoulders
Hoping i don’t robbed for my clothes
and sneaks

i get home and the cycle repeats

i try to complete my homework
in a home that doesn’t work
My father is about to head out and hit heads
My mother is in the bathroom
on the verge of overdosing
My uncle keeps giving me the side eye
trying to cop a feel
i’m sick, i still haven’t eaten anything
healthy all day
i’m literally dying for a meal

No one in my house buys food
so there is nothing to cook
i’m to young to get a real job
My cousin keeps calling me from jail
encouraging me to sell drugs, so I can
put some money on his books

If you are poor and Black
You either go to jail
or go to jail
The actual prison or the inner
city school system

They are one in the same
But the question still remains
Who is to Blame?
Who will be the bigger man?
Which snowflake would admit
that they caused an avalanche?

i can’t get the proper education because
the color of my face
i just wanted to be free
Have a fair track meet
A fair race

When i die
Check my autopsy and see
Where the government shot me

We are tired of traditional barriers haunting
us from the past
We are tired of the darker shade people
placing last.


By Kondwani Fidel


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