We don’t get much sweet where I come from.
No syrup on our waffles.
No honey in our tea.
No sugar for our grits.
sweet don’t come around much back home.
Frail Grandmothers beg hardened grandsons for affection
They say “give me some sugar baby”
And are met with empty hands
We ain’t got no sweet to spare.
We just got struggle.
And that shit is bitter.
Hard to swallow.
Got our stomachs twisting and cramping,
Choking our throats,
Setting off our gag reflexes.
Cause the truth is,
We tellin’ our mothers that the salt leaking from their eyes
Is just part of a larger plan.
God don’t make mistakes
When your son was laying on that asphalt
Tongue coated in his own metallic blood
He was just tasting the bigger picture.
He took a bite out of Divinity.
Was transported to the land of milk and honey
Reunited with so many of your other children
Who have traveled there this same way.
That is supposed to be the sweet
That makes this cruel shit easier to stomach.
The spoonful of sugar
to make it go down smoother.
But the bitter truth remains,
Your son is dead.
They cut all the chocolate from his bones
Spilled his blood in the middle of the street
Like sacrificial wine.
Sucked him dry,
Left nothing but a pincushion ghost.
Were left there
Holding a broken gingerbread boy in your arms.
Staring into glazed over eyes.
Willing life back into your chocolate drop of a son.
They just keep dropping your sons.
This ain’t bittersweet
There is no sweet for this bitter.
Just the sour stench
Of premature death.
It is not something you want to taste.
But I am tired of sugar coating these things.
Let the vile tasting truth come out.
Regurgitate it back into their faces.
Let them know what struggle tastes like.
Smell the bile of wasted life.
They will stop stealing the sugar from our grits.
So little chocolate drop boys
Don’t become broken gingerbread men.
And mothers don’t have to keep sending their children
To far away promised lands.
I want us
What sweet tastes like.
Give me back the sugar for my grits.
It helps this cruel shit go down easier.
Ashley Finley has been obsessed with writing for as long as she can remember. As a child growing up in the heart of Los Angeles, she went to writing to process the world around her. As an adult, she now advocates writing as a means to more fully experience the world around around us. Through her poetry she hopes others will be drawn into her experiences and feel the fundamental essence of who she is. For more by Ashley, check out fiestafinley.com and follow her on Twitter @ash0matic.