At the End of My Street Corner: Jamaica, Queens

Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley

Young light

skin Native,

I wanted to hang

round n strut round

Jamaica, Queen’s

rounded belly black

much the same

way white boys

just don’t.

Wanted to be more

than plexiglass

bystander round

Bernice’s Studio —

(of) Dance

much the same

way straight boys,

those without

fifty cents

worth of class,

just don’t.

Wanted to eat

Italian, Hillside

Cara Mia: Beautiful

Darling twirl n

roll round some blonde

angel’s hair

cross my knuckles

much the same

way breathless boys

living four-fingered

all hand to mouth

just don’t.

Wanted to fly

round feather-skinned

much the same

way fat boys

donut-holed up

under Queensbridge

just don’t.

Wanted to fade

bullets tap tap-


round 109th Ave’s

asphalt roof

much the same

way young blood

in this borough

just don’t.

Wanted to trade

the bent branch

of my birth

name, whittle

its shape

into any thing


less round,

streets smarter —

same way my Queens


her Algonquin name:

Jameco Beaver


Jamaica Rich

traded the roundness

of a glass bead,

broke herself

damn near


than the end

of a spear.


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