25/30: SUCCESS

by cabbythepoet

In high school I graduated in the top ten percent of my class,
Guaranteeing my admission into a public university tho,the
Truth is I struggled the first year, stumbled in and out my sadness
Between classes until I did not want to answer the question
Of my own doubt. Finished the year with a 2.2 GPA, decided
To double-major in English & History because words were arks,
Language became a Lark. Hear me now: I took an internship
At a global law firm working 25 hours a week while enrolled
Full-time and also working at the Gap as a sales associate selling
White women skinny jeans, folding their clothes, and earning
a dollar above minimum wage and life moved fast like overdraft
fees and drip-coffee and sleep never came when I called, only
stayed when I asked to leave my bed, and I won’t talk about love
tho its absence did crack me open like a sun on the sidewalks
I’d walk cross campus just to see if the love of my life
could choose the light behind the dark flight of my goodness,
goodness what I tried to do all the time didn’t always work out
tho failure seems far-stretched, like a hamper of dirty laundry
I let rise and fall cause I didn’t have enough quarters to wash
Myself clean, and nothing came easy tho I smiled endlessly
At the storm’s shadow, decided I’d rather dance than be doomed,
So I saw my path form like dust on hardwood, instructions for
The future got me looking for direction, cause I can’t always
Tell the lesson. Success isn’t fiction, it’s a long-distance
Relationship with your vision. Check it: It took nearly
two hundred thousand dollars and seven years to hear
the song of myself and hear music. Have I always been
an instrument? I want to be truthful without being misleading:
I cannot guarantee anything but I know I’m not supposed
To be where I am, tho I am here, tho I walked the plank
of each mistake, spent days ignoring the dual ache
of the heart, of the stomach, of the wallet, and I guess
you’d expect every success story to run like a river
leading into something bigger, but I couldn’t have done
any of this shit if it hadn’t been for decisions made
on my behalf beyond my control, for the standardized
tests I had to consume like fake bread, worrying
and waiting for my future to rise in the oven, and
nobody wants to believe this but I never stopped
writing poems, never stopped returning to the
written or spoken word, even tho I heard my words
were a detour, I still saw the finish line like a couplet
out a Shakespearean sonnet, and whatever is asked
of me, I’m on it. I had to suffer so I could say this.
All my success is a blessing my family sings, and
Look at me, smiling like a lyric they picked
Out like a bluebonnet blooming through Spring,
And tho time gave back what it took, I still look
At the man in the mirror as a bowl-cut boy who
Spent his days in the library, lying his head
Down on the carpet to read the story written
For him to read. In less than a month, I graduate
Law school with honors, and this is now my final bow,
Where I catch the rose tomatoes thrown at me like
My mother’s lipstick crashing against my cheek.
I rewrote the story written for me. Now, let’s start
From the beginning.

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