i teach in fifth ward. also known as denver harbor. also known as forgotten (kids) battlefield. i am always divided like blood like train tracks that run between both black brown hood
they run up and down me with they stories with they lifetimes with they IG posts with they snapchat fight videos they older than me ¿como se dice lived a thousand lifetimes before reaching fifteen en español? how you rise/multiply struggle times poverty aquí thirteen catorce quince
where the accent/ascent go? see: (sangre) below i got a kid last name corona she fight like a man was in jail when harvey came work construction after school 8th grade i got a kid who don’t do nothin’ but cuss an’ walk around he stay angry stay hongry been to jail, too love black out poetry color blue an’ orange cain’t read past five. deuce. he in high school
i got a kid named after candy (in spanish) she been bullied from middle to high school she stay (heart) checking on me i got a kid that got a kid coming brother gone he keep his head down he write only for me i be tellin’ all my kids all my truth all my stories ‘bout depression ‘bout anxiety ‘bout being poor/pobre ‘bout ptsd ‘bout overcoming
never give up open/book closed/door i got kids that don’t eat cain’t sleep ain’t got clothes ain’t got shoes ain’t got nobody they still fireworks pop-off (4th of july) expected to pass STAAR with they lights cut off my kids cain’t see light even if they could read (just lie) question: how you spell school? (rhetorical) if you could properly pronounce it (in english) (class) if you was one of my (unruly/improper) kids (stay on task) if you could still long enough to (starving) stomach it
my kids juul/crown been let down by everythang everybody standin’ around my kids still survive don’t beg nobody don’t cry (for nobody) they know if the system was a wishing well (full of young stars) in the middle of the hood they/it would/wood not give a bloody nickel to raise a new nation them politicians that babylonian/school system stay begging my kids they people and they people to raise they hands pledge allegiance sell they property sign on dotted line sang school song that nobody know the words to i ask my kids y’all see this (historical) graveyard right by y’all school? the one they be shootin’ at? right by y’all apartments divided by train tracks the one y’all be fighting at? i make my kids look up: genocide gentrification
She is author of mexiafricana, heavy light, and crown.
Her work has recently been published in ¡Manteca! – an anthology of Afro-Latino poets and R2: The Rice Review (Rice University.) She has performed her work and conducted workshops for audiences in Madrid, Paris, St. Lucia, New York, Chicago, Houston and countless other cities.
Her love for the arts inspired the creation of natty roots & rhyme – one of the most dynamic poetry open mics in the country.
She teaches creative writing in Houston for WITS (Writers In The Schools.) Natasha also does work for CoolSpeak – a youth engagement company. She speaks, facilitates workshops, and inspires thousands of students around the country each year.
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