Miss Chicago

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

Just rude

© 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
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.


Re-Imagining Education

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.

learn more

Learning Opportunities

Classes, workshops, and lectures that help to empower people to re-imagine who they are and their place in the world.

learn more


Books written by
Re-imagining authors

learn more


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.

learn more