by YBJane?

taggers deplete the ozone
their messages burn black words on rusty street cars
cement walls
and neighborhood signs
seemingly appearing overnight
these stories last for years
or until some well meaning citizen paints it over
with daffodils and puppies
the stop sign read oblivious yuppies
oblivious yuppies
in my neighborhood
where i live
by my neighbors
who reside on the other side of these railroad tracks
making me pause a moment
i wonder
what they see when i walk their streets
looking for resemblances of who i may be or want to become
do they study faces as i do?
or lower their eyes at what self-hatred produced?
ragged, torn skin
knees bleeding from crawling Hughes' tacked up stairs
i swear
i cry
please don't see me as that oblivious yuppie passerby
who goes to work and plays on this side of the tracks
as if yours doesn't exist
as if there is no room for your clenched fists
balling around that spray paint can
surrounded by what appears to be mansions
with forty thousand dollar cars parked out front
displaying liberal messages like bushit
and if you think education is expensive, try ignorance
the chances of these taggers goin' to college
diminishes with every new legislative bill
holdin' their stomachs
tryin' to mask that hunger feel
decreein' their parents can't receive proper healthcare
so how can you expect dad to be alive for graduation?
(and after carrying the burden of this capitalistic nation)
and who's gonna take care of your lil sisters?
not these neighbors
not the neighbors on my side of the tracks
'cause we've made it a felony to help our neighbors
on your side of the tracks
don't know where to stand sometimes
and i'm too afraid to look up at some street signs
'cause there might be a message for me in there
oblivious yuppies
i imagine
the kid who sprayed if art is a crime, may God forgive me
is my legacy
she asks open questions
'cause closed ones come from closed minds
her hair is a mess of locs
and she doesn't concern herself when onlookers frown
but in the early hours of the morning
she tags
rusty streetcars, cement walls, and neighborhood signs
she tags her life story
depleting the ozone
as her neighbors rally for conserving the environment
so loud they can't hear
her dying
they ignore the tag that says kill yourself
they pass on the MARTA train goin' to work
they can't hear the displaced elderly
because the building owner wanted to erect lofts
they couldn't afford to live in
i can't afford to live in
many of you can't afford to live in
others cashing in on gentrification
uprooting an entire nation
of the poor
this is why she tagged that building
i walk past or drive past
several days a week
to her side of the tracks
where greed has chosen to invade
she watches from a dilapidated building
awaiting the time when the notice will come to her family's home
temporary eviction
she knows she can't jump the hoops to get back in after renovation
so...where will she go?
my neighbor who tags the message homeland insecurity
and depletes the ozone?

Neighbors by YBJane?

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