"Not your kool-aid, your kool-aid tastes like dish water..."

That’s ghetto.

No no no no. I mean that’s Ghetto with a capital G. Not that lower case way you say it. When you say it, it sounds dirty and scary and sharp like a bus stop steak knife like:


W o a h


that doesn’t belong here, wonder how it got here, wonder what it’s been through, definitely do not pick it up, matter fact stop looking at it it’s…


That’s how you say ghetto.

Me, I’m a capital G queen

I say it clean like my edges laid by God herself

I say it sweet like kool-aid (not your kool-aid, your kool-aid tastes like dish water)

I say it sour like lemon salt we save our quarters for at the

corner store

They both make my mouth pucker,

I taste both in the back of my throat they, make me drooooool

Ghetto is:

That hoodrich feeling after you get your check and before rent is due

Parlaying the roach weed to a blunt

Windows down in the hoopty bumping THAT thing THAT thing THAT tHiiiiIIIIiiinnnnGGggg, bless Ms. Lauryn Hill

Weave so long is swishes around your ass

Weave so bright they see you coming from





the block like

who is she.

My Ghetto is rhythm

It sways and bops in time with bare feet on concrete, and double-dutch, and thick lips, and thick hips, it two steps even on the hard days and we’re never short on hard days.

I say it loud from a big mouth

I say it loud, I’m reclaiming words

I’m reclaiming space

I’m on the North Side with my dubs up screaming



They taught me everything good about Ghetto.

Creative Non-Fiction