Not Harlem but Close
The place that produced me was heavy as the heavens. Its tiger tooth pinched monthly, sinking into us one bill at a time we emptied our pockets and dreams into a concrete bowl and ate the contents. The ceiling peeled, it seemed to lower each morning, overcast. The walls of the block rocked. It was a cradle of culture, a home for domestics even the trees were wild and in need of money. The sun was evil, moulding homes, rotting teeth and speech turning you black. The stairs always looked exhausted like mum, pleats of buildings compensating becoming a baby city - so many births to challenge deficit. Numbers on our doors, the number of reasons why we were put there. One being war didn’t want us either. The night sank into the boys, naturally high, the colour of a tired sky, of darkness that rubbed off on them when they prowled in the dark and fought themselves. We couldn’t afford to die with them. Funerals are too expensive.