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3. ‘In Memory of Conway’
You welcomed me with pepto bismol pink and prices I could always afford.
You never informed me of my poverty, never made me feel poor.
You let me dance through the aisles of your plus size section, which was always kind to the youth.
You reminded me that I could be cute for $9.99
You have me my first real bra
My second, my third
You have me Easter pastels
And winter reds.
You have my mama every single one of my Christmas presents.
(Thanks for the array of pajama sets)
You forgave me when I moved on to Old Navy.
You welcomed me with the same pepto pink when I returned to you from college
For leggings
And bedding.
Thank you.
Thank you for keeping me in the dark
About how expensive the world can be
Thank you for clothing me
And for be a consistent part of my childhood
More so than my families
And the love I received
I wish your doors were still open
So I could dance through your aisles once more
And thank you before leaving.

#poetry #conway #harlem

Stranger

Todays poem is dedicated to the boy I saw get murdered on my block when I was 13, and to Harlem. It was never all that safe but it used to be home.

"Stranger"

I spoke of you today

You strange thing, stranger

I don’t know your name.

8 years have passed and I still hear the loud sounds that took your breath away.

They linger in my memory.

They ring like Harlem.

The one I used to know.

like battle cry, 

like jaw on concrete,

like Jordans rubbin ‘gainst holy socks

dodgin blood stains and high rises.

I remember the way your friends ran, and how still I stood.

I did not close my eyes. 

I did close my soda though.

My tropical fantasy.

I held it tight

like weapon

like safety

like it would save me.

I apologize for the police that never came,

and again for not knowing your name.

Strange thing, stranger

My mind runs jagged now wonderin bout things like 

that lot we used to play in down the street

and where it went

and why the police have taken residency on every corner we got

sprouting up like the bodegas that aren’t there no more.

i’m about to graduate college,

the block still calls me smart

I wonder if you could have made it this far.

I’ll dream it true. 

People sell drugs here and find it cute

it aint like the hood do

or you did

and I’m sorry, you were just a kid.

but ill dedicate things to you, i promise.

you’re worth more than a concrete loss.

ill write you alive in every Harlem ode,

cuz you died when Harlem was still home.

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