William Camargo

Teacher, I need help…
I know you gave me that homework last week
But last night I ain’t eat,
How I’m supposed to be hungry for knowledge…

Teacher, I know you got big dreams for me
I can’t even spell college

I got a collage of thoughts inside
But I was never taught to rely
On something I knew
I would never be given…

Like the time my father left
He said, “I’ll see you soon”
But, too soon he forgot his words

So when I st-st-st-umble over long words
Know it’s cause we live worlds apart…

Every walk home is a signed death sentence
Every neighborhood a war zone
Teacher, you say the pen is mightier than the sword
But you’ve never seen a gun, like a pencil,
Erase a life

We are all inkwells
But the only way our story
Is told is when Another life is blotted out
When their ink spills

Carcasses like empty cartridges line my street…

We are treated like old typewriters with no return
There is no return so… why invest?

They say the blacker
The berries the sweeter the juice
And we are all strange fruit to you…

So in the summer heat
We ferment
Until the blood of Christ
Seeps into our concrete…

The city soaks it up, while we soak it in…

Teacher, you say cursing ain’t speaking intelligently
But I don’t know how else to fucking talk about this
I just want to scream fuck you, fuck this,
Everyone’s tryna fuck me
The system just fucks kids…

Ok, ok, uh I’m sorry I cuss-ded
And sorry I talk-ded wrong that one time
But I just wish sometime
Someone askded me how I felt.

Cause I know you scared… you should ask us
If we scared too…
I know you scared…
Me too…

Ask us, I know I am
They just look past us
I just ask why ma’am

But I guess this ain’t my role
So I’ll just take my seat
Sorry I raised my hand
That’s just some shit I needed to release…

Damn, I did it again…
Teacher I need help
I know they ain’t give you much…
So just do what you can…

But please teacher,
Teach me what to do with these hands

I ain’t never been taught
To raise them to ask questions
I always raised them to solve problems

Hand to hand transactions make money
I know you want me to see hope

But in Chicago people die when it gets sunny…

See these hands
Fit around guns
Around mics
Around throats… so perfectly
But these hands get tired
So please teach me what to do with these hands…

Join the Conversation


  1. Absolutely amazing, heartbreaking and real. Continued support and success to this fine young writer and may he reach back to share all his new wisdom and experience with others who are crying these words. Thank you so much for sharing with those of us who can never, EVER, know for real what you have been through. But we do want to help.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *