Can’t Have Nothing by Malachi Byrd Washington DC Youth Poet Laureate
How come the streets burned down in the MLK riots are now the ones most gentrified?
How come the DC Snapchat story looks like an advertisement for Clorox?
How come they uproot our family trees and then blame us for gasping?
How come when I ask an Urban person of color how metal will be the death of us,
we look for the guns but the crane’s get in the way?
How come they gave us bricks
but took our houses?
How come we expected to be roses growing from concrete
when skyscrapers block the sun?
How come I’ve seen more white chalk in the streets than I have in my classrooms?
How come in my city it’s more black bodies under the ground than owning it?
How come business folk love my city more than they love the people that made it?
How come my name is more likely to find a megaphone than a mortgage?