Music Theory

There is a poem at the start and at the end and somewhere in between.

A poem on the cracks of my palms, the bends of my elbows,

In my morning coffee, my Tuesday trivia,

A poem in the sweat of my ancestors,

No one is unheard.


But poetry,

Didn’t bleed knives and honey or blush melodies

For me before I learned to hear it,


Filling spaces exponentially,

Before poetry lived in people, not on paper.


I guess, at 12, school is less than romanticized,

A trap for those who idolize,

Pale skin and tight,

A pressure cooker of the unappetizing,

feast for the hungry,

And all I could do was wait.


But writing,

Soft fingertips hovered over

The unwritten,

Kept my eyes off the clock and on the story.

A translated reverie,  

Words that transported me,

Louder than a bomb.


Poetry pumped through my mind,

An electrocution of some kind,

And I stopped hearing,

“teachers pet”,

I stopped being a regret,

A beaten road that floods during

Rainy season.


I survived middle school,

Tracing my mind’s rambling on a post-it,

I flooded high school,

On a sea of the inevitable,

I saw poetry,

Through the stained glass of good days and,


Though ignorances and wisdoms.


And on a rare afternoon,

I learned that poetry could be spoken,

Could be sung,

That slam poetry lived in this city,

The city I don’t know how to live in,

And the music I don’t know how to live without.


That my voice shook,


Filled the blueprints of my story,

And then,

I auditioned on a whim,

Heart fast, lights dim,

And I was picked for my school team,


brought me a dream.


Call it cheesy,

A story shared under a flashlight,

Over compressing darkness and,

Coke and popcorn.

But together,

We made more music,

more poetry,

Our stories told locally,

Our message aimed globally,

Driving across this city of,

Lost signals,

To the holes in the walls of,

Communities pouring stories through,

Microphones of revolution,

All sharing a feast of





A song I hope,

I will never stop hearing. 

This poem is about: 
My community



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