i miss

dial tones & dial-up tones &

adjusting the rabbit ear antenna just so

when saturday mornings were reserved for cartoons &

getting excited when whole families on tv looked like me

with no handcuffs. no funerals. no cries for solidarity

because all we needed to do was say


help me

we knew our neighbors names & which houses had the good candy &

could trust the people next door to take in our mail

without stealing our checks to pay their kid’s bail


i miss the unity

of the community

that raised us as its own



my neighbors plot

to take my house & flip it

use my family’s abode as a stepping stone to rent-to-own

the whole damn block

to make things great again

but without a place for me & mine

it’s a sign of times

to be disenfranchised & told

to use your bootstraps when you’ve got no toehold &

complaints are dismissed as excuses of laziness &

people laugh when you say


help me


there is no unity

Sumayyah Talibah



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