Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!
There is always a cage at the center, a lockup,
the place you may wind up no matter
how hard you try to follow the straight and
narrow, there's a jailer with a key and no occasion
prevents the key's jangling. The boys at a game in Philly,
let's say, know a few beers could get them put in
that cell, the one kept for the rowdy, the rude,
those whose parameters were long ago
shot to hell by a lonely mother, the boys who step out
of line, who won't acknowledge the fucking line.
Without having laid eyes on the place (you know
the place) you know where's a dried mattress
and a Styrofoam cup of tepid water. Taste it?
Notice the smell? You'll worry it's you,
while above your head, the you you were before
is quoting the score and taking life in gulps,
anxious inside because you knew you
would end up here. You, who never could just
walk away from a too-good thing. You
with something to prove, a drama unfolding
like a thin blanket barely covering the frame.
Written by Vievee Francis
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