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  • Writer's pictureAlyesha 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,


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,


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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