The block was hot and my mouth was dry.
I walked to the Corner store to buy
an iced tea. Remembering the tales they told me.
for they shorties.
I never believed them because this time,
like last time, I count—one, two, three, four—
workers staring at me when I walk through the door.
Why the hell do I still come to this store?
White lady tells me to put my bag on the floor.
Hold on. Stop it.
I wanted an Arizona and that shit can fit in my pocket.
The only valuables are in that case, and you all lock it.
If I wanted to steal candy, I’d pull up my pants and sock it.
I don’t need my bag to leave with a bag, but I’m not Team Rocket.
You think I’m going to take from the Rite-Aid
next to my school? Where I can barely get the right aid
for a sloppy school lunch?
I got a dollar, six cents; not enough for fruit punch.
Look, I write like Wordsworth.
My words are worth
more than just poetry.
This is poverty
when the majority
over the minority.
Not every thing is the way it seems.
I wanted to tell her, to break the seams
of the cloak that the media has put over us.
But what did I say?
I needed to catch the bus
and breaking barriers wasn’t on my agenda that day.
By the way, that white kid that walked in two minutes ago still has his bag on.
You might want to check it before he leaves.