Lit Issue | Poetry

Speak

A poem by E'Mon Lauren

I got a family reunion in my mouth.  Love Jones on molars. Chuuch under my tongue. Loud packs and loose squared language. Bootlegged babble. Mild saucy and slick. Quick card crackin gramma. Squad a sanctuary on my top lip. Throw the handles of my cheeks. What’s good in the hood of my mouth. The yo in my yawn. A fugase flap and flick of tongue. Southside schtick and slobbered. A candy lady’s cabinet. Bud and MC Lite/Lyte a boombox on my beak. Suited and booted. Food and liquor leaking. Tripping on my tonsil. A1 and K47. The rink skating on my no’s and what consent mean. My gots belong to Giovanni and Jasmine. A Different World in a Dutch Masters. Elbows off the table of my teeth. Don’t you have any manners. Melanin in the suck. Auntie pokie neck roll caught in my throat. Living Single and large on my bottom lip. Natalie Diaz in my cupid’s bow. I speak a queer language. Color coded. No code switch or swap in my mouth. I hold a rainbow coalition in my tongue. Obama Care is in my back throat. Let my mom claim the baby in my teeth for tax season. I speak sacrifice. Urban dictionary in the suburbs. Know my rights and speak them. Loud. Like my music. Like my body. I speak my body. I speak my bossy. I speak Trina and Cardi B. I speak woman runs the house. I speak field and house. I speak house. I speak Chicago. Chicagu. Chic A Go. Redline lingering lick. I speak shaa(r)p. Sharp sword. Bible translations. Revenue. I speak Avenues and Blvds. Stomping grounds when I chew. Cabrini when my mom cooks. LeClaire Courts on 26th and California. I speak free my mans. I speak free my energy. I speak in royalist. In concrete King/Queendoms.

E’mon Lauren.  November 9, 1996.  Southside Chicago.  Redline.  Harold’s Chicken.  Mild sauce.  Early graduate.  Slam poet.  Louder Than a Bomb champion. ‘14.  Louder Than a Bomb Indy finalist. ‘14.  Brave New Voices. ‘13  & ‘14.  Louder Than a Bomb College Slam champion. ‘16.  Chicago’s Youth Poet Laureate. ’16.  Playwright “Commando.” ‘16.   Vocalist.  Emcee.  Teaching artist.  Published artist.  The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. ‘15.  Performing artist.  Non-binary agender.  Woman.  Human.

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