lord knows

by Kwame Opoku-Duku



it's hard to be, as in, be, as in: lord knows, it's hard to be.
they say stand completely still and never appear ungrateful.
they stole my daddy's watch, and now he never knows the time.
they told me i didn't have enough pain in my belly to sing.

sam says, don't ever let yourself get away with anything.
i would rob the highest fiend of his last three quarters for you, invest it in the chicago soil.
today, a sapling in a bottlecap. tomorrow, the shade for everybody you love.
but would i eat a soft-boiled egg with a smile? would i learn to love my fears?

i wish i'd met my grandfather. i've never really felt complete.
i hear the phone ringing in the other room and i never answer.
i get hurt and played out and my soul gets ashy.
it's ok to laugh.

everybody gets away with something. coyness is boring and overdone.
twins are lucky among my father's people. witchcraft, highly taboo.
i fasted for thirty days when you left. the only person it hurt was me.
i dreamt we saw a movie and cried at the same time.

they say don't put dreams in poems. a poem is a dream.
rules are only fun when you are the punisher.
today i am calmer than yesterday and do fewer drugs.
a devil sings the word articulate. i ask him for a loan.

i really don't know how be sometimes.
there are too many think pieces and haters to move.
i've got a full water bottle and my air force ones.
in my dreams, the streets are translucent, free of all belief.