On February 19th, Art Academy of Cincinnati hosted a night of poetry reading full of dedicated, strong-willed, and politically activated poets. Below is the poem read by AAC student, Sydney Rains.
I’m walking home tonight
in the heat of my month
and my frustrations begin
to calm again, by the street lights
glow upon the asphalt, by the
soft breath of the warming wind,
by the growing volume of
a fire truck’s siren somewhere
close by, and I stay still as I listen.
Trying to make up where they
could be going, and I remember
the house fire nightmare I had
night after night as a child
when I lived in that old yellow
house my father painted white.
My revolution burned there and I
want that shit back. But now, all I see
in this house are maggots and roaches
and dust everywhere and I am
sneezing all the time, and that’s
how I know that this is not a dream,
anymore. This is a pack of rhinoceroses
stampeding down the runway through
your cities and down your blocks,
Like sleep paralysis when you’re fucked up.
Like how the stone cold chest of a gorilla
that used to live down the street was shot
dead and replaced by a baby hippo.
That is how I know this is not a dream.
but I am home now with the roaches
and maggots that cuddle close together
as living things. They’re my only friends
for tonight and sleep peacefully in my
motherly palm. And in the morning I will
answer the door with palms out wide and whisper,
America, here is your child,
you are a mother now.