Papyrus Collective
April 19, 2017

I Am Tobias

From Write or Die by Byron Wilson


I Am Tobias

Born out of lust
one night, in the middle
of the year of massive riots
I was conceived.
Sex and music
fire and riots
I tasted everything
that she had put in her mouth.
I heard that, felt that to
a woman's right to choose
I ain't nothing but
a shot of ass to him,
a country welfare check to her.
What have I seen?
Environmental toxicity
of passion and violence
so my warm cry had to
sound like peaceful singing
raised in chaos and disorder.
Then she made me the choir director.
Was it my lips? Who knows.
It probably still is.
But where was God then?
Yet you expect me to seek him now?
How can there be
no love lost, when
no love had ever been gained?
What bout the blood lost
out form the top of my head
dripping to the soles of my feet?
I'm four years old. What have I done
to become this drum
to be beat, beaten and
left to dry in my sleep?
Now drink the piss on the
wooden floor. I'll cash this
county check, but I don't want you
no more.
Dry blood hurts.
Couldn't get it off.
Why is she so mad?
And mad at me for what?
When I grow up to be
eight years old,
I swear I'm going to run,
run away form home.
I'm hungry so I can't speak.
Pharanaoel singer of the gospel
bracing for the next attack
and why do they remind me
that my lips are big
and my skin is black?
I'm both alone and lonely
but I don't play with toys.
I never wanted to be a girl,
but I only liked boys.
Pissy sissy, singing soprano.
Get your lil' black ass
out of here, and get the
fuck off of Grandma's piano.
I tried shooting marbles
but everybody thought I was a girl.
A lot of alone time at school
always in another world.
Tied up in a sheet,
I couldn't breathe.
Through me down a flight of stairs
that I couldn't see
until somebody untied me.
Hanged by the age of six
hot, orange burning knife
on the tip of my dick.
Upside down, vomit in my nose,
a broken jaw, but don't
nobody know, don't nobody
want to know.
He didn't even flush the toilet,
slapping me, forcing me
to swallow his cum.
This is what you get for
being pretty, you know
this day would come.
That started at five years old,
tied me to a dresser drawer,
held me over a burning
barbecue pit, I blacked out,
at least that's what I was told.
I think I'll do it with fire,
flames, and big ass smoke.
I saw some guns in the closet
but they were too big for
my seven-year-old self to hold.
Ain't no way I'll ever get to heaven
if I kill these eight people
at the age of seven.
So I ran away.
The big one was too fast.
These are the streets of Compton,
and I was its trash.
Barefooted, pajama pants,
and drying blood on my body,
I don't want to go back
into that house
because there, I'm nobody.
Police chasing niggaz
in the ally outside our backyard.
Dead body stinking on the ground,
ants in his mouth, stiff and hard,
gunshots all night,
bullets passing through the house,
the horrors these eyes have seen.
I ain't even told yet
black unity in the community.
It's foreign to me and
I ain't even ten years old yet.
Although I can only speak
for myself, I can speak to
my younger self who is
out there, somewhere in society,
sitting in some incarcerated
situation, not being able to
engage peace and unity as
a realistic fundamental
possibility for them.
For me, love and forgiveness
are luxuries, internal.
I learned that I needed
to discover this reality because,
by the time I was ten years old,
I had no idea that I would
be the one engaging you about
being the creator of your own
version of love and forgiveness.
So what did I do with all
of that anger and drive for
revenge? I understand that
none of it was my fault and
I'm telling you now that you
can deal with what you have
done as an adult when you
embrace the fact that you are
not the source of evil, and
it was true evil that forced
others to harm you, because
evil knows that it can
survive and be defeated when
people like you become adults
and reach to people that can
only understand you. Somebody
doesn't know what true love
and forgiveness looks like
because you haven't decided
to teach yet. The next us is
out there, and we all need you.



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