They made even war seem funny,

shirtless, dog tags silver bright

on their smooth black chests,

standing barefoot in that day’s dirt,

three or four in a huddle sucking

weed outside a ramshackle hooch,

jiving, chuckling in the way only sons

of distant slaves know how, wisecracking,

“Shit man, fuck these peoples,”

and how I wished I might have been

one of them in their ghetto days

more hip, wise and street smart

than any man I ever met from Yale


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