think about it bo

Dear President Obama,

Imagine 109th Street
The wind is not a kind stranger
That fabled night you arrived
In NYC with no friendly names
In your tattered phonebook
Even the corner couldn’t hook you up
With something to keep your insides warm
The heater is coughing steam
Only growls like echoes of empty stomach
In all floors above
You scramble on the stoop
Hoping the super would hear
Your silent screams
A squad car pulls up
Asking for ID because
Your shadow has no purpose
Loitering in the lobby
Of soon to be luxury condos
As you fumble with your transcript
Letter of acceptance
Credentials testifying on your behalf
You see that the declaration of independence
Dipped by with same speed
As the pope riding through the hood

Nighttime under that orange streetlamp
Colors the sunny shade of bright dreams
In the back of paddy wagon
You continue to say audacity over and over
Mostly in awe of how quick this city
Will experience your naivete
Without noticing any trace of benign neglect
This is a test
That your biracial charm
Acerbic wit and determined pragmatism
Won’t let you pass
Your last Newport was smoked on
The way to the block where
You were eager to organize the residents
If only that poster of Che
Could lead you hasta la Victoria siempre
You wouldn’t be spending
Your big apple inauguration
With a cheese sandwich buffet
All that change jingling
Won’t buy you a phone call
Back to Grandma
To explain this unfortunate set
Of circumstances confining you to this cell
However loud you yell
You are met with blank stares
Saying sympathetically I hear you
Even though the whispers of the wind
Barely believe your improbable life story
Being held hostage is not healthy
For your bills still searching for your queen
Through smoky clubs two stepping
A cha cha cha fingers pinching
That clip you stashed between the cover
Of a beaten up bible and Genesis
Moments like these will give birth
To more Jena 6
Arresting the development
Of the whole hood’s population
Mumbling the bassline
To the Emancipation Proclamation
While you feel victimized you start to sympathize
With Mumia wishing you had the key
To free all those faces similar
Looking down at their palms in grief
Of how their god loving country
Has kept them gassed up in the ghetto
Shocked at how many times
You are asked for your social security
Until your bad breath identifies you
Like a smudged fingerprint
On your permanent record destined to follow you
Like campaign promises that you won’t follow through
What type of power would you need
To push up the mountain
With your back to the wall
With the White House about to fall
On top of your high arching lefty jumper
You could change the game
From dead horse to live hope
With only trick shots on hoops with no nets
When privilege gets pressed
The pressures rises to crush your resume
As your references are rattled
And the most perfect union is shattered
Where would you be?
President of the tenants association
In some dead presidents’ projects
Patrolling the hallways to push young boys
To smoke indoors as opposed to empty staircases
Still navigating the maze searching for the cheese
All because that night
You didn’t run when
When they said freeze

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