My boyfriend doesn’t really like poetry
My grandma hates my tattoos
My cousins are too old to believe in the change I see
And my mom won’t really listen to my views.
My white friends don’t understand how my Black is beautiful.
My Black friends don’t know why I refuse to see color.
So I find myself always trying to defend my way of life
Always trying to define it so that when they ask I have an answer
Always trying to prove that I’m not just following whims
I’m making conscious decisions.
I am not a rebel just for obstinance’s sake.
I have to stay outside the box in order to stay in the game.
Everyday I need to push a new limit
Start a new project and find a way to finish it.
Because when I’m playing by your rules and living your decrees
I feel like my soul is seeping out of me
And what, like you said, does it profit me
To gain the whole world, or your blessing,
If I forfeit my soul in the gaining?
I don’t get tattoos to mark my body for the dead
I do it because sometimes there’s an image
that expresses more than I could have said
Sometimes I need you see without me opening my mouth
Sometimes I need to know that if I lose my voice,
My skin will still speak out.
I don’t curse just to make you angry
Sometimes I have to throw in a shit, a damn, or a fuck
Because if I keep my tone neutral and words G-rated
The bangers can’t hear me because I’m not speaking their language
A poem is a picture and sometimes we use expletives to frame it.
I don’t argue with you about religion just to see what you’ll say
I really believe there’s more than one entity that saves.
Even Jesus didn’t speak to everyone alike
So I think maybe with all our new technology,
God’s portfolio has diversified
I don’t argue with you because I think your views invalid
I just want to make sure you can fight for how you live
If I can change your mind,
It means you were really that convinced
So make sure you know who you are before you step to this.
I do it my way.
I wouldn’t call it obstinance; it’s grit
I love you for caring,
But this is me…and I need you to accept it.