“What makes us so deserving of space
in other people’ s minds?”
My boss in the kitchen asks me how it felt to be famous
after looking up my Washington Post Magazine
essay & cover art online. The question left me stuck
I didn’t feel famous. I hadn’t received much mail in years.
What does celebrity mean separate from saturation,
fame to the incarcerated— but infamy?
I question the value of telling people about accomplishments,
about publishing at all— in a place where your spades
game gets more respect, & swagger’s stuck in the last time you punched
a muthafucker in the face, what’ s the point? I just felt petty
for wanting to be seen at all. Guards are more concerned
with how many towels I have than who I become.
I’m being heard— & that should be the focus, right?
Is the nobility of a thing in or on purpose? Or the other
way around? Cause who ever does anything for nobility—
I’m starving to be objectified: stripped down by the new young
blond guard like a Skinamax late nite B-movie, why else do hundreds
of burpees if not to play into the bad boy fantasies of anyone watching?
I went away before social media, but had my Lil’ cousin Artesia
build me a platform to stand upon, thinkin’ it’d present me
somehow, someway, maybe keep me present— be on someone’s mind
or wall, admired even for a moment. The Past says they miss me,
but since they never reach passed the screen it’s not the real me,
only their memory. It’s not about me at all—and neither should the work be.
There is a point to this poem, in its lack of trust. & none of it is an answer.
How can I count on anything through a 2-way mirror? I am just
a writer, the world through my eyes glows different due to the depths of my
damage. When you close this book & move on
I’ll still be stuck in-between the covers,
wondering when you’ll be back.