The darker corner of Memphis, TN
Where prostitutes take their positions among a sea
Of honest workers and school kids waiting early on the MATA
Just to repeat the process at 3 in the after-
Noon. Then we drag our backpacks down the street,
Hurrying in the house to get something to eat.
Then watch BET, searching for role models
But only finding women objectified and men popping bottles.
Blissfully accepting ignorance, we dance and sing along
Placing rappers on the throne based on who has the hardest song.
Mama in her favorite seat watching it all go by,
From time to time telling us to shut up so we don’t disturb her high.
9 o’clock rolls around and she’s tired of us upstairs roaming
Tells us “Take y’all asses to bed. Y’all gotta get up in the mornin’”
Walk to my bed, placing my bare feet upon a floor
That knees don’t touch to say prayers anymore
By this time, police sirens lull me to a sleep
Filled with rapid eye movements, never sleeping to deep.
And our men come out throwing up unique signs they are taught
The night equals Demeter’s grief that destroys them as do crops.
Wake up to watch the news, wondering what black man died or committed a crime.
Now that’s the blues of Memphis, TN, but to its inhabitants everything’s fine.