Tribute to Tupac (on his birthday)

in your words i hear an echo of things to come
a reminder of the brevity of all things good
you were the kind of thing that dreams are made of
in you i saw the world
through a black boys eyes
falling with you
getting angry with you
fighting with you
i was imprisoned with you
and set free with you
but like you, never acquitted,
although the evidence was planted
even if you never knew,
I knew.

and i stood for you as much as I could
although my existence moved from concrete jungle to institutional fallacies
deemed liberal art
liberal in nothing by judgments and boxes
that i was just too big to fit
like you were too big to fit in life
larger than life
you are more suited to death
and your dark form
and your spirit
which gave me chills the times we met
and i saw the eerie reflection of my destiny in your eyes
i hold on to that first time, knowing then that an early demise was your calling
i thought you would start the revolution
having been gunned down in the streets by the police
what i didn’t realize then in my youth, was that true revolution begins in the mind
and your lyrics can’t die
you are alive and no longer confined to a body
you float freely
visiting me in my dreams
telling me to keep my head up
when the world gets me down
it’s all about me
because you said so

dear mama
i know she will understand how you will live forever
how your martyrdom status allows you to cross cultural boundaries
it’s no longer about mtv it’s about channeling and spiritualist
we can see you and feel you and

i will carry forth your message
your name, shining serpent only fits you in this dark time that we are living in now.
you shine against the moonlight
in the garden of eden
where you wanted to go
because you wanted to know
what it’s like to truly be tempted

could you say no to eve?
could you rewrite our history/
give up your rib and not submit?
turn it down in the garden and again on the dance floor?
rewrite your history?
come to Vassar with me?
fight your intellectual battles in the classrooms and
wait for the Platinum albums with me?
grow to be a parent with me?
have your first book of poetry turned down by a publisher with me?
because that means there’s a tomorrow
could you, would you say no to temptation?

there’s no fighting destiny
and like a valiant prince who knows he must fight for his people
you carried that knowledge and that melancholy in your eyes
a soldier at battle
who’s remains couldn’t be buried
they stand proudly on your dear mama’s mantle
the one you passed
and stopped and stared at
when you were home

you wanted that for your

final resting place

you left a piece of yourself with us all before you left

now rest

and watch