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Harlem Tour



I have and will see spectrum's of people walk past my front windows
and not one of them will stop to say hello.
They may pause
to capture the beauty of the petunias in my front yard
but never will they stay a while.
They will snap 8.2 megapixel cameras
and set off blinding flashes.
create albums on Facebook to share with friends
whose feet have never had the pleasure to grace these sidewalks.
But no matter how many photos they take
their images will never capture the true essence of this home.

They will never walk past my doorstep
because hidden among the concrete jungles and flashing lights
lay a culture so complex that archaeologists from Persia
will be begging to unearth its secrets.
I’ll tell you a secret.

Most of thee people will never creep past their front stoops.
They are stitched to the fabric of their environment.
They are children of the hustle.
Breed in smoke filled rooms and bathe in Hennessy.
They will never discover the other half of their borough
never less the other four.
They have become accustomed to their parents beliefs.
They find solace in normality.
So they etch gang signs into their forearms
and cling to their barriers.

The smell of their burned skin curdles in my stomach like acid
the fumes embedded in my taste buds.
My senses forge images behind my eyes
in the form of slave ships.
These neighborhoods are slave ships
Each section shackled together
rationing resources that will never be enough.

They aspire not to be doctor's or photographers,
but to slap bitches and pimp hoes.
They wield their weapons like it’s their savior.
Their dreams are silent
but their tongues move fast in their heads mechanically repeating
opinions, theories, ideas, hopes, questions.

They question why they live like this.
They question because they are the new product of their environment.
They are outcasts because this hood,
has given birth to brave new voices
This poison has created brave new voices
This home has nurtured brave new voices
and these voices are telling you
to stop taking pictures of my home.

No longer will we be silhouettes behind our curtains
because today my child died
and this story will be on national T.V.
Emergency Broadcast
because my baby died in the name of survival
So you could hear our voices.

So put down your cameras,
come inside.
Get comfortable, and lets have a conversation.
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Submitted on May 01, 2011

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