Authenticity

Marilyn Buck

                    [This poem is read by ChrystosMP3 of this poem]

On Brooklyn streets
young Black man in baggy pants
hanging off his ass
you can’t see ‘cause
the shirt comes to his knees
baseball cap sidewise
Nike Air walk distinctive
to himself

in Ft. Lee, Jersey suburbteen
wears phat looks too
baggy pants by Hilfiger
Air Jordans, Yankee cap
knows all the rapper’s raps
feels ghetto cool
though never been to New York Avenue
but knows he’s authenticated
he gangsta raps and slaps high fives
dunks, his walk broke down
straight off TV
nobody can tell him he’s not real

he’s not around
when Black brothers bleed,
beaten to the ground
for their authenticity

                                 September 2002

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