DC is

(my take)

DC is scuffed black Nike Boots

bad roads that snarl at tires

teenage girls talkin’ bitches and niggas on the bus-

making a grandma sweat in her flower print dress

is schizophrenic weather

and schizophrenic black homeless men with stained shirts in downtown

pressed black suits and stiff ties,

blue eyes stare away from the homeless men in downtown

is black fathers holding black babies on the way to somewhere


DC is loneliness

Go-Go in the air

a boy’s rattle snake hands

jumping out for a taste

of me

humidity so thick I can’t scissor through it

feet jumping on a basketball court

cherry blossoms and police sirens

empty pockets and the white house

decaying buildings

and their half a-million dollar replacements

DC is female fistfights in Southeast


DC is dreadlocks

short and limp

long and medusa

conscious sistas spreading rumors about me

then blaming it on the wind

DC is babies everywhere

on the metro train, waving at me

out of car windows

DC is maternal


DC is silence and mambo sauce

carry-outs and dark alleys

El Salvador and injera

men yelling hey baby, why don’t you smile

or Didn’t your mother teach you any manners?!


DC is where I live

for now

-Nijla   (C)2009

roses and wire

roses and wire