By Aurelis Raines
Taking a breath….you a lucky one
You went out to eat where? And you don’t rap or sell drugs?
You a lucky one
I look out my window before I go to school
All these darn precautions
I wish I went to hell and back… I would’ve finally got to relax
The city I live in infamous
Chiraq, Chitown, Chi Ghanistan, Chicago
Where we put the 45 to your chest like Jordan was coming back
We like fast lanes, the far left, make the fastest cash
If we can’t get what we want from you- we hit where it hurts, light your house with red dots like it had a rash
We unclean in the spots where Badu didn’t do nothin
We dirty in the area where nobody swept the area
Chiraq means we shoot people or sum?
Chiraq means we got guns SO BIG, we kick the trigger to make it shoot?
Chiraq street so dirty we get sanitation donations from South Harlem?
I’m tryna live for a better cause-you know?
Like when I grow up I wanna be part of the CP- wait no…a fire fighter
No not that either, I’m tired of fighting fire, my uncle fight fire all the time…well with fire and he rarely get paid and when he do get paid it’s in forms of long scars and slug bruises
I’m tryna be something in life like… a psychologist cuz I wanna see what somebody else’s life like
Get inside my victims- I mean patient’s head to sympathize
Find out their dog died, and I smack em around and tell me how much I want their life
Chicago is not entirely bad
Chicago is that one fine girl friend with bad habits
I take Ms. Chicago out to dinner, and I pay the bill
She orders a fine tall glass of her favorite
And then she stares in my eyes….and belches, right in front of me
© Taylor Knight
Sometimes I wanna just walk away from the table
Whenever she belches a brother dies
Whenever she belches she is the host of another tragedy
She magically adapts to another one of our tragedies
She actually makes it tolerable, not accepted
I wrote a poem about Chicago, she was listening, but it’s hard to get her to sympathize sometimes
I- wanna be something greater than, I’m tryna live for a greater cause
I’ll take action…as soon as I find reason to
See what Ms. Chicago will do to you
So tell me again…. Chiraq mean we got gangs that make terrorist look well behaved?
Have you heard the tales? Be them tall?
Let me guess, you heard that our automatics are SO AUTOMATIC that they get up and shoot by themselves?
Or wait, did you hear that our side eyes put people in a coma?
I don’t care whatchu heard, I ain’t no run o’ the mill Chicagoan, Chiraqian, or Chi folk
I’m lookin to live for a better cause cuz I’m tryna live above the status quote
I wanna be a chef when I grow up, so I can
Craft what I would like
I took Ms.Chicago out to dinner the other day…she’s fine…we gazed into each other’s eyes
She looked right in my eye…and let one go
My brother got shot
About The Author
Aurelius Raines III is a Chicago based poet residing on the south side and he is a student at Kenwood Academy. He is also a Chicago Wisdom Project student. He enjoys writing, reading, being outdoors and drawing. In his poetry he intentionally seeks to dissect the relationship between poetry and the poet then to analyze it under a magnifying glass. His quest is to make clear to all people that poetry is more than just putting pen to paper. It is an art that changes lives and stimulates the growth of an individual through the spoken word.
Empowering educators to take a deeper look at the stories told in our schools and to re-imagine them in transformative and
nurturing learning spaces.
Classes, workshops, and lectures that help to empower people to re-imagine who they are and their place in the world.
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The Chicago Wisdom Project offers a alternative to the industrial and corporate models of education that have become increasingly prevalent in the American educational landscape.