This poem was first published by the Prison Journalism Project.
You know where you at?
This where murders happen because they can,
boys got a hundred bodies before they are men.
It’s not for the money, it’s for practice:
they play for keeps and take tears to their mattress.
This is the home of unknown legends,
forgotten street gods,
champions who kill to get even,
warriors who die for the odds.
This is the place you don’t run from,
where violence is ran to,
and dead homies are friends that stayed true.
We live to die over here:
the size of the gun is measured in fear,
the number of bullets multiplied by years.
You’re in Neighborhood Criphood,
the sound of a head in the horn is understood.
John 15:13 kind of loyalty,
where hoodlums are royalty.
This poem was published in partnership with the Prison Journalism Project, which publishes independent journalism by incarcerated writers and others impacted by incarceration. Sign up for the Prison Journalism Project’s newsletter, or follow them on Instagram or Twitter.