because sometimes, the voice of chance the rapper becomes a warm blanket. by Ayokunle Falomo

black boy walks
the streets of the big easy

the air is cold
and the voice

of chance the rapper
becomes a warm blanket

the bright red of the headphones reminds me
of stained streets with open mouths

still thirsty

for the blood of my brothers & sisters
and of course, the bullet remains
a benevolent god, opens up
their bodies until it floods red—and yet

the streets still have parched throats
but let us not make this about that, because
black boy walks the streets of a city that is not his,

sees a white woman rake the leaves
in her yard – i mean, leaves now brown, full
of no life, but still oh so beautiful

& metaphors do not have enough blankets
to wrap this moment in—how a yard
is a reminder of all,

like life,
and the black boy joy
that warms your ears,

the things that matter!

what i mean is this: what do you do when,
while walking, chance the rapper playing
as quietly as possible in your headphones,
you see a white woman raking leaves

in her yard where by the wall
is a sign that reads "Black Lives Matter"?

the answer is you pull your headphones,
like a black mother does her son,
in a little closer,

turn the music up a little,
drown in joy while dreaming

of a yard where all the leaves
that have fallen, thanks to a bullet, can grow
endless fields of daffodils and chamomile.

Ayokunle Falomo is: a Nigerian. a poet - who uses his pen as a shovel to unearth those things that make us human. a lover: of almonds. the color blue. hymns. grapes. conversations. a TEDx speaker. an author (of the collection of poems - "thread, this wordweaver must!" - which serves as a reminder that your stories matter, and is also an invitation for you to share them. & of "kin.DREAD" - an upcoming collection of poems and thoughts that seeks to explore the relationship between our fears and those closest to us.) a dreamer. an American. He enjoys walking. & talking to himself (sometimes in third person actually)…a lot.