shoutout to my big bro, james doing big things in miami.....

Poem for Bro

“Life’s a Bitch/and then you die/that’s why I get high/because you never know/when you gonna go”….. Nas, Life’s a Bitch circa 1994

Blunt smoke traces
the city sky
while ill natured cops
cruise by
in anonymous cars

Sirens and a sudden red light
flash across the brown faces
of two headboppin
acapella poet brothers
in the cypher on 117th

The night danced
to what we could see
from our project windows
with the window guard jail bars

The fuzz questioned
their own intentions
because they bring whiteness/violence
45s and nightsticks
and all we had between us
was five bucks a Dutch and
the truth of our lyrics

So what could we do
against their power?

Te lo digo
His blood ran through my veins
and it was like that chill
that our heaters got at night
all those winters

Courtesy Professionalism
Respect splintered
our innocence
with perceived pretenses
of crimes because of the contrast
of our skin tones
with the night and day of theirs

I started reflecting
on how easy things used to be

We used to soak the sun
and smile
when we were still a family

We were the only ones in CPG
with red roses in our garden

Then Housing tore up our backyard
uprooted the grass
while the roses dried
in that same sun
we used to drink like Tropicana
in the overflowing garbage

I think of moments
like these when the wind
blows the leaves on the trees
upside down light green
clean and dry

Time flew pass us bro
and I cry with these words

because we’ve never been to Disneyland
and hugged Mickey Mouse

We used to give out pennies
at Halloween

and we used to fight
for the seat at the back of the bus

We come from those roots
Quarter waters and 50 cent coquitos

y salsa singing
on Saturday mornings
by Ma while she cleaned

Fast forward
the scene ten years
and here we are on 117th
overlooking the Newport sign on the Deegan
across and away from
Rupp’s view

while the five questions us
about smoke in the air

I go to Columbia
and bro you left your mark

We know nothing about nothing sir
we politely say to the officer

As we walk away
I say if I know anything
it’s what we’ve seen done and come from

Anthony Morales

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