by Deshawn McKinney
scented like tea tree oil and cocoa butter,
got a screen door always closed and a front door
you not gone keep goin in and out of.
keep tellin me how I’ve grown,
say it knew me since I was a baby
but got a face that look like
play cans when granny finish enough Cokes
and pick up games at the park around the corner;
but hate when you get inside smellin like outside.
wear white tube socks with Nike slides,
and got somethin tucked for that Impala
if it drives down the block again.
speak with the tongue it created:
call Air Force 1s dookies and drip
like the bubblers it drink from.
sing a different anthem (Int’l
Players’ or Ruff Ryders) and got the voice
of a patriot if Boosie come on.
ring to the tone of 414 but don’t answer
if it don’t recognize the number,
leave a message.
Deshawn McKinney is a writer proudly reppin the northside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His debut chapbook, father forgive me, is forthcoming 2021 (Black Sunflowers Press). McKinney earned a Master in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science as well as a Master in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Deshawn’s work can be found in Lolwe and the 2019 University of East Anglia MA Poetry Anthology.