Portrait of a Listener – Sonority Turner

Its morning, and I ride the bus to school with you.
We stare through the graffiti scratched grooves in the window
the sun hums hymns over everything,
but we notice the shadows
what is invisible to them.

Most days we don’t listen
teachers preaching system but we don’t find that interesting.
We nod to their speech, even though really its the beat
we tap with our pencil and rubber
swinging on chairs as we try to find balance.

There is no need to talk shit in the playground
we’re schools ahead of them; girls not eating in front of boys
frontin’ like they don’t like girls just irritates us.
We could hide in the toilets but we want them to see
us cuss them with our book and pen, how we be marking paper.

Some days we don’t go school
we call Kevin, he takes us to P’s and we watch them.
At first they make words make love
but then they make words hate us, they cuss destroy trust
punch chest they get vex.

Then I will lean forward, skip on the vinyl,
jump onto the needle, fly over the speaker
riding the bass onto your shoulder.
You will strain to hear, as I whisper
put your headphones back on.


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