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If I told you that a flower bloomed in a dark room, would you trust it?

—Kendrick Lamar

Don't ask me why, [. . .] ask me how!

—Tupac Shakur


Steel world, white fire, neon gaze and acid
falls—a land of cement and granite—that hide the
vision of stars with twisted clouds,

base of the cauldron, nailed to the floor: a black flower.

Ground of blood and mother’s wails, the rush
of suited skeletons, lining to their next daily death,
the life-red, red-life always ignored,

the black flower.

Black rose, born of the concrete,
born from stacked despairing generations,
packed in the stench of unending currency,

in this dark cocoon, you still bloom.

Black light, from the manufactured desert, slipping
through alleys into living rooms, pulsing
in sound-waves on a summer afternoon, through
bodies of boys for whom death creeps too soon,

can I trust you?          Unholy miracle of a gift,

can I—

Gabriel Noel is in his final year at Boston University.  In addition to scribbling in dollar notebooks, he has a deep interest in understanding the nature of perspective during the slim time he’s been allotted here.  He is also a soccer aesthete.
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