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I heard somebody say I’m crazy;
they suggested I should let Jesus save me.
I’m just tapped into the Quantum wanting, 
wanton mind the streets gave me.
Abandoned buildings raised up roach tents and crack babies.
It ain’t the rabies or the scabies that’ll kill,
it’s the social injustice.
You know, misappropriated affirmative actions,
If you will. 

I’m feeling I should kill my spirit
Or erase my skin. 
It just doesn’t seem to fit 
into the colorlines
that are strategically stitched to squeeze
me out of the nation’s fabric,
into dirty outfits,
filled with addiction and disease. 

Maybe try it on yourself,
then you would understand how it feels
to be the young moving target
that always gets hit from every angle.

I’m still lady radius,
digging into the middle of every discussion
since the age of sixteen.
I’ve had a malfunction
created by society;
I’ve poured tall drinks for anxiety,
leaving imprints on the glass,
I was getting slim too fast. 
Nevertheless, my problems weigh a ton, 
spraying holes in my finances like a Tommy Gun. 

Another Black man beat down into the grave
like a drum. Steady. When will it end? 
I guess they want us
wiped off the face of the earth. 
Is someone wearing our remains like a purse? 
Or do they kill us to quench
some odd thirst? 
How does one subdue a man
that’s already down? 
I’m on my knees and it’s hard to call on the Lord
sometimes. Am I saying the wrong name? 

Seems to me we been quiet long enough.
We shout and they still don’t hear us. 
Love ought to be tender, not tough. 
I’m so deprived I’ve become dangerous. 
Still, I withhold my rage
and remember the ways of the righteous.
But I believe we have every right to bear arms,
lay down the Million Dollar Charms.
I’m saddened by my missed opportunity
to become partners with one of the best. 
I am from the wild wild west
And blessed with one of the worst circumstances.

Still I am standing, 
subscriber to the best brand. 
If found, please return to the motherland. 

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Aoki Pink is an African American writer from South Central Los Angeles who was formerly incarcerated in California. Aoki Pink is her pen name.