“i’m starting out my day…with a chopper”

i can’t even count
how many other fellas
walked just like me,
listened to this
same song
just like me,
felt aggressive and
just like me.

hands scritch up
in the way of
mid-90s murder rap
Chicago, gangs
on every street,
families on every street.

i can’t even count
the families who
stood in the alleyway
and pointed
their weapons down
toward the park,
down the green corridor
of stinking Summer heat,
when it’s so humid you
speak in soaked sponge,
and all your beds
expose their trash.

i can’t even count
how many white boys
like me
put heavy bass into
their heads and felt
briefly explosive.
explosive like those
terrified white boys
with big giant guns and
all those families they
drove their bass-exploding heads into.

and we blame it on
gangs and we tell people to
fix their attitude
and we tell people to
pull up their pants and
their boots and straps,
well, straps
are our RIGHT
but only if you look
like me.

god gave us these
rights but of course
god looks like me
and a gym teacher
in 8th grade said that
humans can’t handle
the existence of aliens,
and oh ya man they exist!
because we believe
we are to be made
in god’s image and
what if god is disgusting?

disgusted, certainly, or
maybe just laughing.
like i can’t count
how many times i’ve been
laughed at and
how many times i’ve
put a song in my head
to keep from hearing and
how many times
i’ve been confident in my
parking lot sidewalk
small town
giant city walks,
even while me
and you
and we all hum
and buzz and shuffle
and explode
in uncertainty.

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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