What you know ’bout 10.
Tenement basements
daybreak brittle cold
coat covers
sleeping with a bunk bed wetter
stove-heated water
washing in front of the oven
one eye on the rat hole
behind the claw foot tub
sunday bath nightmares.
What you know ’bout that.

What you know ’bout 11.
The welcome smell of shooting gallery soot
deep nods of gyroscopic junkies
spiderman, the hulk, dr. strange
mad cool
you know about radioactive spiders
gamma rays and roots
you got people that work roots
you got people that know zombies
What you know ’bout that.
I’m not trying to make a point
I’m just asking.

What you know ’bout 12.
Thick crusty three day old hunger
grandma’s knitted hand
surplus food thursday
gold cans of usda approved mystery meat
powdered eggs and peanut butter
glad to have bologna & cheese.
What you know ’bout that.

What you know ’bout 13.
Hanging with the take-a-tokes
long inhales burnt fingernails
a run for ribs or fried rice
got you chicken wings
like bird, like billie, like miles you are mad cool
you knew they exhaled kinte cloth
lived burlap lives and knew hunger too
But what you know about that
don’t relate to my situation
I’m not talking about my childhood
I’m just asking what you know about that.

What you know ’bout 14.
School trip pretending sick
no shirt no tie no lunch no money
what you know ’bout
making chump off chumps for chumps
can you count boy
can you count
blackjack, dominoes, poker
deuces, nickels, dimes
until they played you
I’m short
take a bag
you mad cool
cause you comic book schooled and dig trane
weed and jimi aint all that
that’s a different trip
I am curious homie
but what you know ’bout that.

What you know ’bout 15.
Slinging man-style
talking ’bout who’s your daddy
who’s your daddy
depends on position
a term of endearment
and a valid question
face to face
doggie style
has its place
but don’t go there
confusing want and need and making babies
but what you know ’bout
girls going south coming back women
grandmothers and aunties raising babies
information on birth certificates
revealed 30 years later
dealing drugs for cribs and carriages
meeting .45s
What you know ’bout that.
not your point of view
what do you know ’bout that.

What you know ’bout 16.
The world’s best baller teaching you to be prime time
skin pop
hot shot
dead before the world knew

what you know ’bout
ghetto sentenced
mount vernon free
every other weekend
living the fly life
silk suits and big chunk gators
throat cut naked
what you know ’bout that.

What you know ’bout
a first kiss sucking love
two dollars at a time
putting profit in her veins
singing at her funeral
under her mother’s evil eye
yes jesus loves me
yes jesus paid me
what you know ’bout that
I’m just asking
what you know ’bout that
What you know ’bout me.

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