C.R.E.A.M.- Danez Smith

C.R.E.A.M.

after Morgan Parker, after Wu-Tang

in the morning I think about money

green horned lord of my waking

forest in which I stumbled toward no salvation

prison made of emerald & pennies

in my wallet I keep anxiety & a condom

I used to sell my body but now my blood spoiled

All my favorite songs tell me to get money

I’d rob a bank but I’m a poet

I’m so broke I’m a genius

           If I was white, I’d take pictures of other pictures & sell them

I come from sharecroppers who come from slaves who do not come from kings

                                              sometimes I pay the weed man before I pay the light bill

sometimes is a synonym for often

I just want a grant or a fellowship or a rich white husband & I’ll be straight

I feel most colored when I’m looking at my bank account

I feel most colored when I scream ball so hard motherfuckas wanna find me

I spent one summer stealing from ragstock

If I went to jail I’d live rent-free but there is no way to avoid making white people richer

                                              A prison is a plantation made of stone & steel

           Being locked up for selling drugs = Being locked up for trying to eat

a bald fade cost 20 bones now a days

what’s a blacker tax than blackness?

                                              what cost more than being American and poor?

here is where I say reparations.

here is where I say got 20 bucks I can borrow?

           student loans are like slavery but not but with vacation days but not but police

I don’t know what it says about me when white institutions give me money

how much is the power ball this week?

I’mma print my own money and be my own god and live forever in a green frame

my grandmamma is great at saving money

           before my grandfather passed he showed me where he hid his money & his gun

my aunt can’t hold on to a dollar, a job, her brain

I love how easy it is to be bad with money

don’t ask me about my taxes

the b in debt is a silent black boy trapped

 

Copyright © 2017 by Danez Smith. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 1, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

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