By Walidah Imarisha

My tongue drips
cassendra’s blood
Brothas on the corner
Drink it down
Wrapped in crumpled brown paper bags
Swallow unheeded prophecies

I can smell my truth on their breath
But they turn their creased faces
To graffiti smoked walls
Emblazen their dicks
With neon colored wild styles
And chug down
This Pompeii destruction

Troy must have smelled
Like Watts
When it burned

Cursedout in the street by apollo
Cause I wouldn’t give it up
Reneged on the deal
Bitch betta have my destiny
Was the last I heard
As visions pimp slapped me
slammed my head
Like cell doors at lights out.
Word is bond
And bondage
Chained to the truth
Until insanity seeps in
Deeper than the bruises
On fate’s face
That no one sees
Too busy lowriding
To the coliseum.

All the men
Come round
To the Delphi Oracle
Slung over the cataclysmic crack
Like pants denying gravity on a brotha’s ass
Breath in a hit
That knocks their heads back
They line up
Cause they know
She got the top shelf ish
Pure powder keg powdered prophecy
Your first is always your last
and she knows better
Than to get high
On her own shit
Never smoke
Your own product
Get strung out
On your own divination
Ask me how I know

I can see
Oedipus’s phat rhymes
Topping platinum charts
His father’s eyes
Electric chairs
To his mother’s
Jiggly high yella
Puerto Rican flag
Shoved between the cheeks
Flapping like the cyclop’s non existant eyelid
And that brotha
Can’t never see the forest for the trees
Cause the crack smoke
Can steady cloud
One eyed vision
And he ain’t never had no
Depth perception anyway
So how could he know
How far he had to go
To hit bottom?

I coulda told him
But I was tied up
Gag ball in my mouth
Nipple clamps being pulled
By Achilles
Cause that fool gets off by being
In control
Got the streets on lock
From acropolis to compton
And just cause he runs the whole north
He thought he was man enough
To go toe to toe
With the crooked cops
Of the Olympus precinct…
Sliced his ankle tendons
And cut off both heels
Guess everybody
Has an unlucky day

Narcissus was too pretty a nigga
To be left alone
And I woulda warned him
Not to fall in love with his own image
Shrinkwrapped and glossy
Casue all that bling blings is not blood diamonds
But it caught his eye
And what can we say?
Dishwater gives back no images
And that’s not a prophecy
Just simple common sense
A la nina simone
But even her up high down low voice
Don’t reach out to
Red light district
Of Athens
Where Narcissus sells
For 20 bucks a shot.

Prediction prediliction
She who entangles men
Or look at that ass
Ima hit that tonight
At athena’s club
On the floor
Ajax rolled in with his boys
Cobblestone street soldiers
Packing Trojans
Limping like romans
Grabbed me from behind
My no’s my final divination
To go unheeded
In the sweaty funk
Where even gods hid their faces
In the lap of the pulsing beat

Stutter stepping
Poetic madness
Eyes as wild as my hair
Aw fuck that bitch
She's crazy
don’t know
Don’t know
what she’s talking about
Like a blunt licked and laced
With destiny
Like chickenheads coming home to roost
On the stoops of the parthanon
Beware of niggas bearing
Shivs disguised as gifts
Crip walking
On top of the acropolis