There is a war coming, I can smell it on my breath

and taste it on my skin. I can feel it in my bones

and hear it in my thoughts because the battlefield

is my body, a body full of scars. A body clothed

with skin the sun burns so much, sometimes it has

to take shade under the moon. A body that has

become the shooting target for life’s tragedies

more than its blessings. A body I call home

is also the city of God where the earth

and the wind come to worship His creation.

But in the interim there is a war coming

so I’m preparing for my first kill to protect

my body and its essence

I’m rehearsing in repetition to kill off the parts of me

that were planted to make me feel strange

about the shade of my face, like this isn’t the image

of the one who made the night and day

I’m rehearsing to be better, that even though I’m

as dark as the night, my thoughts and self

will shine brighter than the stars. I’m rehearsing

but I don’t get to stay too long in my desired future

before I’m reminded by a voice that I’d die before

the battle begins, that deep within me

I’m still a boy, a boy who is just far away from home

desperately wishing to smell his mother’s cooking once again.

There is a war coming but I already feel defeated

I feel like I’m drowning and the only way I know to stay afloat

is to write my prayers as poems to God

reshaping my reality with the words I conjure

so today they call me a poet because whenever

I speak they see the universe sitting on the tip of my tongue

nodding to every word I utter but no, I’m not a poet

I’m a warrior, who sharpen his blade with every verse he writes.

Jay  ©️ 2018

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