livea humble

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Koko Komégné via Wikimedia Commons

i am sho my armz will fall wit fat 
& my chin will double wit a smile 
& my hair will turn gold 
befoe it turns grey 
lyke da women in my village 

i can guarantee i will quit 
try again 

blame everyone else 
& wen no-one iz lookin 
ill accept responsibility 
& want nuffin mo 
dan ta be a prevision of substance 
lyke da men in my village 

i know my chest will stay perched out 
& i will fall wen tryin ta move 
& in movin 
& fallin 
i will laugh tryin not ta cry 
imaginin da imagine of wha 
could be 
wen i grow 
in ta 
wha will be 
next lyfe time 
lyke da chilren in my village 

i will make da mistake 
of trustin someone 
datll burn me so badly 
despisin dem till next lyfe 
a monsta 
strong enuf ta 
shape shift inta a lova 
bright enuf ta blind 
my instincts 
slick enuf ta cut me while i sleep 
& sweet enuf ta make me say 

i love you” 

first 
lyke everyone in my village 

but wen i die 

wen i die 
please dont read 
any of my poemz 
dont quote me in memory 
& dont botha tellin da folks down da block 
how great 
i wuz 

how 
if i wuz still alive certain folks 
would not be doin da thangs dey doin 
& damn sho wouldnt be gettin away 
wit certain thangs 
wen i die i hope you learn dat although i am wif god 
i never wuz god 

wen i die 
do not feel da need ta
argue & dont be ashamed ta agree 
wit da Black man dat swore i wuz 
ruinin da Black family 
wit my unusual demands of account ability 
pleaze let dat young Dark Black Gay Man-
dat you call Crusty & Faggy 
who calls me hiz 
Muva 
go round preservin every piece ive ever written 
& internalizin it severely 

wen im dead 
dont ax 
Da Poetry Foundation 
Button Poetry 
Or Da Library of Congress 
why it took till i wuz gone 
ta arrive in deir archives 
which seems ta be da norm 
wit dead mutha fuckas lyke me 

da biggest fight ova my lyfe will take place wen i die 
not ova who i wuz but da thangs i used ta own 
& da money will be da greatest gift known ta 
dem & fo dat ill be happy wit death 
cuz i know wha its lyke 
not ta have so ta give 
wen im gone will 
bind me ta dem 
til i run out

Lester Eugene Mayers is the author of 100 Poems for 100 Voices and is currently a MFA candidate at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. “livea humble” is from his forthcoming work of poetry African Boot Scratcha lovin da ashy-blaq fat chall wif yella teef, which will be available on Amazon starting Nov. 29.