By Deija Vinson
Cover image by Jenifer Daniels

A question mark

Detroit be lookin’ lost,

be lookin’ like a unnamed constellation
every project a mispronounced star

Be curled hair like vines clinging to loose bricks,

Detroit be
skippin stones
skippin down cobblestones
towards headstones
be the feel of goosebumps when silence happens

be new shoes scuffed at bus stops
be so salty
we be wondering why streets so holy
be a mutha-funker
be a mosaic of broken bottles
and laughter.
be open mouths tryna catch snow
in summer

be scratched records on car scraps
be slinging they pain like gas money
be 12 hung men
be tarot cards
and sage leaves

Detroit be a Twilight Zone,
every hood a byline of synesthesia
ticking off disciples
like two birds one stone
be controlling/
controlled by
the tides

be the last thing standing between us and dirt
be a sound mama makes

Be so Mama
we be buying flowers on the second Sunday in May
and leaving them on the street
as homage

Detroit be home
be clicked heels and Aunt Em
and orange
be shaped like how community sounds,
Infused with condemned confidence

be an act of Rebellion
the Evolve in Revolution
be potholes driven over,  sounding like the heartbeat of the ghetto

Detroit be like the sun,
too busy tryna be a metaphor



Deija Vinson is 19, a recent grad of Cleveland School of The Arts, and has an unhealthy dependence on coffee. She is currently an instructor at Twelve Literary Arts’ One Mic Open Fellowship, as well as Artistic Director of the youth poetry performance group, Six of Twelve.

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