Monday, May 5, 2008

from the lower hudson

i’ve known rivers
ain’t never much cared for the ocean
or the sea but i know a thing or two about rivers

but my rivers ain’t never beckoned a wave to free
a mississippian slave ain’t never lulled the congo’s shores
with the hues of a weary man’s blues
but i know rivers

rivers like the muddy waters of the hudson that’s suppose
to keep new jersey from sliding into new york but when me and
my best friend isha was thirteen every weekend
we useta jump the turnstiles of the path train
straddle the orange plastic seat with our pubescent thighs
the thunderous metal above the hudson
thrusting us into the city

i know about rivers

i know about me and isha pressing our face against
fading tainted window trains the blinding sun and
us laughing cause somebody’s baby’s diaper was drifting
in the murky waters below
us betting that black plastic bag full of trash
wasn’t fast enough to keep up
with us turning to each other and yelling
“Yuck” as sticky yellow foam
clouded rusty factories that
abandoned us
couldn’t wait for the intercom’s static
to announce that we was in the city
and we thought trash was
beneath us

a river that lifted us above the dark filth
onto the clouded village streets
where we stuffed ourselves with Ray’s famous pizza
and smiled at gay men and women who
held hands and kissed each other in the light
and we walked down the blocks we wanted


we strutted down each streets
how we wanted wearing tight ass
calvins toting fake ass coach
pocketbooks dangling newports
from our lips
laughing out loud
talking trash
cussing each other out
and being the only black
mutherfuckers we knew how to be.

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