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Brian MacDonald and Charisse Cecil

MacDonald_Cecil

Brian MacDonald
Inspiration piece provided to Charisse Cecil

Farewell, stairwell
By Charisse Cecil

I’m ready.

I’m standing in these slotted
shadows, leaning against this
cinderblock wall that is coated in countless layers
of paint vainly attempting to cover generations
of ubiquitous crew tags and psychedelic
profanity.

Under this metal staircase, where I used to huddle
with my girls, harmonize to hip hop soul
pop rhythm & blues slow jams and practice
lyrical freestyles in an impermeable cipher
that the boys could not enter unprepared
for verbal battle.

The light shone through the slats and created
stripes across my loose-leaf paper,
shining on my algebra homework
brightly enough for T. to copy my answers
while I crushed on him so hard
that I didn’t mind doing all the work.

Tucked  inside that acute angle under the stairs
with T., I tasted my first kiss – a heady blend
of heat, his sour apple Jolly Rancher
and my pink lemonade Bubble Yum
that made all those late nights of memorizing
theorems and formulas worth every
missed must-see TV show and girly conference call.

Whenever I hear the crunch of broken glass
and discarded Newport filters underfoot,
I remember the night L. forced me to my knees
under those stairs and pressed my face
against his open fly, when he was supposed to be watching
me while my mom went around the corner for groceries.

Under this stairwell, I learned one source of my power
that will take me beyond this stairwell and these shadowy halls.
The power is in my mouth –
to recite rules or rhymes,
to sing songs or wail battle cries,
to give ardent pleasure or exact excruciating pain.

——————————————————-

Note: All of the art and writing on this site belongs to the person who created it. Copying or republishing anything you see here without express and written permission from the author or artist is strictly prohibited.

5 comments

  1. Holy cow. This is the most awesome poem I have read in a long time.


    • Thank you so much! I appreciate your feedback.


  2. An intense and powerful poem that makes me eager to read more of your work.


    • Thanks, Aleisha! I’ll be in the next round of SPARK.


  3. THIS IS AWESOME, GOD GAVE ME A GENIUS, LOVE YA CHARISSE, YOUR MOM



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