We were profusely vulgar
our tongues knew slurs like piercings.
We were strong-headed, skulls
impenetrable like German bomb bunkers.
We knew little to none about
manners: the streets taught us
the art of voodoo calligraphy,
karma charisma (what comes around
will go around only if you get caught).
We would howl like dogs whenever the cops
reared their coiffed hair or fat, bald scalps
and like bloodhounds, they sniffed our cars
looking for a sign of weed, stench of youth.
We told them they could sniff our exhaust
when we rolled away. We too were
looking for a sign, a symbol, a ray of light
from heaven to beam the way out
of Slumsville, off oppression’s depression:
we couldn’t taste the foam in our throats, yet
we were hungry for something more than we
could ever sink our teeth into: and not one
of our lost fathers would throw us a bone.