If this poem doesn't rip your heart out and stomp on it, I don't want to know. It still leaves me speechless every time I read it.

...Yeah, I been to juvee, what about it?
I was up at Spofford --they got legends
bout me--thought they wasn't gon git
rid a' me, but yo' I had to git de fuck up
outta dere, they had hoes that murder
people in that piece
and
I'm baaad and all but I ain't never
murdered nobody yet and I try not
to fuck up nobody too much less
they mama cain't recognize 'em

Last night, my man Ray-Ray, he 23
and built better than buster douglass
well anyway, we was over to his
crib and he was tryin to git on
for some
but he been locked up for 4 months
and I 'ont know that that nigga
been doin--shit, I know what
I was doin up in Spofford
--
so when I tole him I was having my
menstruals, he decided to get plexed.
He smoked a blunt and wouldn't
take me home and den the nigga
went n' fell asleep.
I was like damn, here I am
at Ray-Ray's crib and I got
a motherfuckin curfew and a
math test tomorrow (I'm trying
to do good in school for probation
and dis lady who teach english
say I got potential --which I did
look up in the dictionary. It mean
I gots mad promise if my ass don't
end up in jail).

So I'm lookin for a pencil,
anything to write on which,
when I find it, is a paper towel
and thinkin that Ray-Ray ain't
helpin me none and he must
be a stupid nigga to boot cuz
he ain't got no paper and I
had to sharpen the pencil
wit a knife. I starts to think
about findin me a new man.

Me and my math problems
plexing each other to death,
when Big Mac come knockin.
He Ray-Ray's cousin
so I let him in. He say,
     where Ray-Ray? I'm like he sleeping, he blunted out-
     Ahhe say,you wanna watch a movie

I look at the napkin, crunch it
up, make a perfect 3 pointer and
follow Big Mac to the living room.
He put in the tape and turn off the
light. Then the movie come on
and at first I'm fixin to git up cuz
this ain't my kind of movie --girls
in all kinds of crazy positions suckin
white boys off, bitches lettin 'em
whip they ass and tie em up. That's
at first, cuz the next thing I know
I'm feelin crazy shit go through me:
     cunt juice drippin down
     my leg and I'm freakin
     myself out cuz i thought
     that shit only happen at
     Spofford. Cuz I'm imagi-
     nin I'm stompin all the
     white boys. Walkin up to
     em while dey whippin dem
     girls and I'm stickin .45s in
     dey backs---but that ain't all.
     I'm thinkin after I kill em,
     de ladies gon want to fuck
     me, and yeah, that's the part
     I'm trippin on, that I want them
     to fuck me and that Ray-Ray
     didn't never make me feel like
     the cuties in juvee.
And I look over at Big Mac to see
if he know yet by the look on my face that
I'm a fuckin homo. Cuz if he don't know yet
I want to fix my face before he guess.
And when I look at him I'm like
I know this nigga done lost his mind cuz
the bitch is sittin there with his dick
outta his pants and his hand movin all
fast n shit and he stop when he see me,
den he start talkin real deep bullshit
he say,
     Rhonda come here, Why don't you
     do me, Come on Rhonda do me,
     Ray-Ray ain't gonna mind, I ain't
     gonna tell him.

He reach over and
touch my titty and me, ms. bad ass
all of a sudden cain't move
I'm frozen, I mean I couldn't move
     damn you cute
     girl, I wanna git my groove
     on wit you, I always...

The nigga
stop talkin then.
He all grunts and shit and I'm
imaginin I'm on another planet
tryin to think about the math test
and that lady-teacher I got
and I feel all that POTENTIAL
running the fuck away
cuz I won't claw this nigga to death
cuz I cain't even believe it's happenin
cuz he Ray-Ray's cousin and
cuz i ain't never felt no pain like this
so I don't feel it/ I /think/ bout/ this/
time/I/beat/this/bitch/ so /bad /she /lost/
6/ teeth/ and/ got /scars /to /this /day/
from/the box/ cutter/ I /slashed /cross
/her/face/

I guess he done cuz he start to say
somethin
     don't worry girl, I know you.......

And I don't hear the mothafucka
finish cuz I'm outta the room and
shakin Ray-Ray so hard he think
it's a earthquake in Bed-Stuy.
I make
that nigga
git up
and take
me home
in his mama's
raggedy-ass hoopty.

And I start cryin
when I see my projects
and commence to tellin
Ray-Ray everything.
First thing he do is say,
     hell naw, you my bitch,
     ah'm a take care of
     this shit.

Den he tell me to take a bath
an he gon call me after he settle
this shit.
Then he leave.
I let myself in and hope mama ain't wake.
She ain't.
I go to de bathroom,
flick de light on,
watch de roaches git
de fuck out my way,
and set the water to run.
I wuz gonna take a real
hot bath, but I
membered too
late we ain't got
no hot water right now.
So, I pullt the drain
and went to bed.
But all I'm thinkin
bout is my test
and my potential---
how ahm gon git it back--
so I find the damn book
and jist study and study and study
till round bout 7:30 when
I'm still wide awake and
fixin to go to the school.
For the first time I'm gon
make first period.
I'm steppin out the door and I see
Ray-Ray walkin up,
he look real mad.
I don't feel nothin but
good cuz I know I can
pass. He git closer and I
smell malt on him. He say,
     I see you like them clothes, bitch
and I'member right
then I ain't changed
he say it again,
     yeah, you like the fuck smell on them clothes.
I go "you crazy nigga,
I ain't like shit about yo cousin"
he like,
     you lyin cunt, Big tole me de
     whole story, He say you wanted to fuck him,
     He say you come over to him while he
     tryin to watch a movie and put
     your hand on his dick and
     He say he told you he wasn't gon'
     disrespect me like that but you kept
     touchin on him and I
     cain't blame the nigga
     for goin for his. I cain't believe you
     did that shit, Rhonda. You spose to
     be my girl and you go fuckin my cousin.

He got me backed up in
the corner in the lobby. People
see us and don't nobody say shit.
I don't say shit again cuz ahm in
shock and de only think I'm thinkin
is bout how
to figure x=y2
when he say
     You ain't got nothin to say, bitch
the way to solve x=y2 was
still runnin through my mind
when he hit me and I fell down
and I felt him kickin math answers
out my head.
I got sad cuz I wasn't gon' make
first period and my POTENTIAL
act like it ain't never comin back

—letta simone-nefertari neely, When We Were Mud

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