Save Yourselves First

“It doesn’t matter any longer And I’m speaking for myself

For Jimmy Baldwin

And I think I’m speaking for a great many other negroes too

It doesn’t matter any longer what you do to me.

You can put me in jail.

You can kill me.

By the time I was 17, you’d done everything that you could do to me.

The problem now is,

How are you going to save yourselves.” – James Baldwin
You’ve never stuck a fork in an outlet,

because you know better.

Not because you’ve witnessed the outcome,

But when parents warn you

Sometimes you listen without asking how come. 

The stove

The block

The iron

They’re all hot.

Put your hand on one like Russian Roulette 

Go ahead and take your shot.

I’m watching blood boil

People not caring about the degrees

Revenge starts to look like a delicacy

There are no reservations 

For self preservation 

Enlightening revelations

Stay warm in the winter time.

Do whatever is necessary.

If you die before martyrdom

How could you be legendary?

Don’t blame others for your negligency 

Stay warm, don’t freeze. 

Liquor store seems to be serving delicacies

But only hard liquor

No beer under 30 percent 

Niggas against the draft

Didn’t mean to pretense the past.

Good Morning Vietnam

We could all pretend for laughs.

My skin is reminiscent of a Kong

My skin automatically makes me a con

But it doesn’t matter any longer

Save yourselves first.

How To Raise A Black Boy

Does the juxtaposition of the words “Black” “Lives” &”Matter” make you upset?

Black bodies hanging from poplar trees, would you have wept?

When a black child is murdered by police,

Do you ask “why” or “why didn’t he get on his knees”

When armed shooters with lack of color

Are still allowed to see their mother.

Black fathers taken from their children before birth

Black children six feet beneath earth

Naive young me used to question why so often.

I remember asking my mom why I couldn’t have a nerf gun.

I promised I wouldn’t shoot it at, or hurt anyone.

Mom, it’s cold why can’t I wear my hood at night?

It’s not in my eyes I promise I can see alright.

Danny and Nick are doing it, why can’t I play ding dong ditch

Jesus Christ mom stop being such a god damn bitch.

I always viewed my parents as overprotective

Thought I was being sheltered and I couldn’t tell why

My dad always seemed a bit aggressive

All because they were doing things just to keep me alive

I was never awarded my adolescence

Coming home from school to added lessons

I wasn’t afforded the luxury of childhood and silly decisions

Because of others misinformed filthy religions

I never knew what it was like to be boisterous and careless

My mother feared some cop would point at me and care less

I could have been just words on a tombstone

Instead of you reading my thoughts and my words being known

It wasn’t until now that I understand why I wasn’t allowed to make mistakes

Until seeing black victims juvenile crimes resurrect all whilst the white shooter didn’t get a court date

I know now.

I know now that my life doesn’t matter more than that of a deer

“Is it hunting season on a niggas ass” wasn’t a joke, but actually fear.

Black bodies no longer hang on poplar trees

Black bodies now lie in the streets

Silence is empowering the other side

So I no longer jail my tongue behind my teeth.

Stuck

Each time, i feel we grow

& come back to what we know.

More than just the highs and lows..

Don’t get caught up in the moment, moments always fade.

I’m not trying to go forward to look back

like “damn, I should have stayed.”

I could keep pictures to relive the memories

but I’d rather live them back with you.

I laugh at your quirks and your tendencies

but I love everything you do.

The way you dress,

the way you smile.

When you get dressed,

it takes a while.

But, it’s worth it every time.

You look perfect every time.