Crips, Bloods, and butterflies.
A sunflower somehow planted
in the alley. Its broken neck.
Maybe memory is all the home
you get. And rage, where you
first learn how fragile the axis
upon which everything tilts.
But to say you’ve come to terms
with a city that’s never loved you
might be overstating things a bit.
All you know is there was once
a walk-up where now sits a lot,
vacant, and rats in deep grass
hide themselves from the day.
That one apartment fire
set back in ’76—one the streets
called arson to collect a claim—
could not do, ultimately, what
the city itself did, left to its own dank
devices, some sixteen years later.
Rebellions, said some. Riots,
said the rest. In any case, flames;
and the home you knew, ash.
It’s not an actual memory, but
you remember it still: a rust-
bottomed Datsun handed down,
then stolen. Stripped, recovered,
and built back from bolts.
Driving away in May. 1992.
What’s left of that life quivers
in the rearview—the world on fire,
and half your head with it.
Memory & The Past
Violence & War
the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession
an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference
The repetition of similar vowel sounds that takes place in two or more words in proximity to each other within a line; usually refers to the repetition of internal vowel sounds in words that do not end the same.
a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic