• Alyesha Wise

All the Boys


All of the boys from my hood are angry

and I know their secrets.


All the boys from my hood whistle when I walk by,

call the boy who don’t whistle a f-----


All the boys from my hood like to be called a man

All the boys from my hood want a girl, to pretend

to be a woman


All of the boys lean against the barbershop on Haddon Ave, the wall with all the bullet holes


All them boys could be gone today but, all them boys too tough


to say, I love you

I love you, man

I love you, bro, cause


That be gay, nigga, cause, That ain’t cool, like, correct, like, come on, like,

God wouldn’t like it, like,

lady on lady? Nah. My Bible say das different, like,

What?


The boys from my hood pray to God

when big homie take a hit


Prayer hands on white tees don’t apply to the queer boy, right? huh, huh,

Huh?


All the boys from my hood are trapped

inside a glass house their great great grandfather built


They so stuck, so stiff, so set, I guess, but

I know their secrets


I keep them locked

inside my jaw when the straight boy demands my number and


“Yes” is the only safety I know

All the boys from my block need a booster


All the boys pull up and Eh ma and push ups and punch shit and punch walls

and punch women and


drink the bottle to the bottom

All the boys empty


All the boys ain’t hug another boy, with the lights on, in years,

in never


All the boys from my hood wish to represent all the boys, say,

Ay, yo,


keep that gay shit over there, like they gon' catch som’n

Well, what you got your hands out for?


I know their secrets, I know they weep, I know they seek

an open when the door locks


All the boys do not represent all the boys but they like to take up enough space

to fill


but not feel.


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