Refuge in the Streets: Billy

Written at age 17, based off a crush I had

He was born in the Far East
Raised in these hard streets
It’s where his heart beats.
He clenches his teeth,
Trying to make ends meet
Even if he can’t sleep.
He has a mouth to feed
And he’ll feed him by any means

Since he was thirteen he invested in these slums.
Slanging drugs, getting drunk, fucking anybody up.
He packs his gun,
Shoots at cops and runs
Someday he’ll tell his son
That everything he’s done
Was out of a father’s love
He kids himself saying that’s where it begun.

He lights up his cigarette
Inhales a little bit
Life’s been bullshit
So he’s searching for a way to make that end
Reconcile and make amends
To his God, family, son, and friends
If he even ever can.

He sips on Hennessey
In the sight of his enemies,
Plagued with his memories;
An impoverished refugee
Promised the American dream
Impossible for him to achieve
He gave it up at thirteen
When he got caught up in the zone
Dealt and took from his own
So he got kicked out of his parents’ home
Into the Twin Cities’ cold
With no heavy coat
No place to go
So in the streets he roamed
With other confused souls –
Still he felt alone
And remains alone.

He hits a blunt
Puts his middle finger up
Feeling so stuck
He thinks of ways to get more guns, more drugs, and more funds
Even though it means more sentences, warrants, and runs.
He kids himself saying it’s all done for his son.

He sniffs coke
Lets his eyes close
Drifts into a soul
Nobody really knows
It’s where he keeps his poems
And the desire to hold the son he doesn’t know;
To reconcile with his parents and return home.
Life’s too havoc
For open eyes to imagine
Even so, he wouldn’t know how to make dreams happen

He finds a good vein
Injects the heroin with no pain.
The euphoria goes insane –
It’s all smiles in his brain.
He watches himself on the couch
Breathing all the stress out,
So many things to think about
But not now, he looks around
And feels he’s been on a cloud.
Time is but a dream
Life to him is exactly what it seems.
When there’s nothing to hope to achieve
And he’s inherited the burden of a refugee.


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