Photo by Amirali Mirhashemian on Unsplash

Baltimore bred, Baltimore living,
Baltimore cursed where The Wire was written.
One the rare occasion you find that Black Rose,
It probably won’t be because you used your nose.
So welcome to my city known as the Concrete Jungle.
Where it’s Bloods, Crips, men and comrades with no muzzles.
Waiting to fill your cup up, until it runneth over,
Where snakes get x’d out and men have to look over their shoulders
‘Fore nothing is a given where I am from,
Death by a knee on your neck, or paddy wagons arrest is our death by a gun.

So R.I.P. George Floyd and Lil Freddy, Black Rose of the Concrete!
Allow me to whisper and “answer me this”.
When you step onto each crack do you look for that wild blossom or are you so caught up in what’s in front of you the very foundation that supports your weight is no longer automatic?
Just wondering…
Nothing feels better than this.
Especially when lives are liberated as the x is added to the Chris.
This is why I write these words to inform you of what could be.
Of how America’s Baltimore bred this animal that now resides inside of me.
I search,
I’ve searched.
I’ve lost,
I’ve not found.
That Black Rose that is supposed to come up out of the ground.
Baltimore Bred. Baltimore living,
Baltimore Cursed where the Black Roses are hidden.

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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Christopher Reginald Cox

Christopher Reginald Cox Jr. is a writer incarcerated in Maryland. He writes to have a voice, and he fights, so when he is released, “we do not add to the recidivism rate.” Christopher’s pieces are submitted through the American Prison Writing Archive, a partner of the Prison Journalism Project.