By Matthew Shenoda

Incessant, pushing for the struggle
of re-generation
one hurricane
replaces another
just when the island has been rejuvenated

Living in kaleidoscope cities
urban twisted metal sculptures
piles of moving fabric
& hair
all that hair braided together
like a downtown skyline
woven though towers
with a one-two break-beat

Even these buildings have rhythm
metalworker songs
& saw blade scratches
take them as a symbol
of our rise-up stance
educate our children for a second chance

Ain’t no three strikes in the world I live in

We speak forgiveness
like giraffe tongues
long & ready to unravel

We speak change
in the language of the playground
the dialect of freeways and b-ball courts

We understand that nothing happens without a declaration
even independence

So we declare this place our home
and push forward with those who push
& move past the ones whose feet can catch no rhythm
whose lives remain cemented in a history
unchanged plagued by the parliament of greed

We declare an eastern expansion
a manifest where the west must rest
& leave its tired self behind

We speak ancestor codes of
handshake body language
& “brother I got your back”

We speak cross-generational tongues
of bilingual I loves yous
& grand-parental recognition

We break things down to the critical
so that each generation can link to the next
without severance

We speak in the grand tongue humanity
a language without saliva
an underground dialect
whose code will be deciphered
and whose only script will read:

“Daughter, son, we’re ready for you.”