Poetry by Malcolm London Why you talk like that? With fake bass in your voice Like you got foundation Why you talk like that? Speak up like police lights on street posts Up Like that like Surveillance Can you see me? The cabrini green growing in your esophagus Talk like you Waiting to be gentrified Why you talk like that? Like coffee? Black but not strong like they like their coffee Integrated Obeying the cream Talk like a playground In your lungs While you hyde park and breathe In bravado In belligerence I see you native to these west side Americas I hear the colonialism in your dialect Where you grew up Where you belonged Loose squares is a mantra Slurred words like liquor store was on the corner Of your cheeks See your tongue Crisp and crossed Like your mamma raise you On crucifixion Like she pray You never come home in a coffin Like she know These predators pray More often Often you speak like you can make institutions disappear Like magic Like voodoo in your veins Like you dream Of new order Or New Orleans Talk like you immune to Katrina This hurricane Of injustice Why your slang move like Mississippi did migrated Into your saliva Dixie line dictions Stirred in kitchens In pots Of collard greens Turkey necks And sweet potato pie You sweet talk Like you met at the intersection of Arsenio Hall and Fresh Prince Transit authority That transition to 26th and California Is easy for you You grew up Spitting boss Taste buds grew up On police brutality Dished out in cooke county You spit like you thirsty Like you been wading in the water Of parasites and low income Your mouth didn’t dry suppressing all that struggle The thesaurus in your throat clogs like a word But struggle In other words You talk like you never been north Never been freed Like you ignored Like you need to be heard Like your story has a history You aren’t allowed to know Like you got something to say What do you think of poet Malcolm London’s message and meaning? What do you read in his poems?