We are trading war stories, different battles, but nonetheless still a fight. My shot does not take away from your stab for a wound is a wound and I know you see me, but I need you to holler if you hear me. Generally, we don’t respect the strength in others because we don’t understand the struggle. We are all soldiers of some sort trying to be veterans with numerous victories over the strife of life. We don’t have badges, but we have bruises that give us credibility when we converse with others about the cruelty. So many tears, but we still keep our head up and our chests out. They say heaven ain’t hard to find, but I wonder if heaven got a ghetto? Where will the outlaws and observers go when they are outnumbered by the followers who are flourishing? Pregnant with purpose, but weary is in our wombs so we are delivering disaster and devastation. Brenda had a baby, but that rose was forced to grow from concrete with no care and now shorty wants to be a thug. The babies are raised by leaders who give no love and now the hate that was given fucks everyone. We share our stories to ease our minds from the mayhem in a world that treats us like a menace to man. We feel the sting like sin and we carry it in our souls and in our spirits. We are all active duty in a melanated military fighting for a white flag that never brings us peace, but only prison. We are stuck in our own minds and the solitary confinement is making us crazy. Sharing our stories without fear gives us freedom and others faith. We become poetry not because of the plains, but because of the pains present that we hope plateau. Our struggles will eventually become someone else’s surface land and they will walk in places where we were wade. I’m not saying everything is strictly for my negus, but I do want to see the thugs back on their thrones. I want the ambitions of the riders to become reality and if we don’t complete the mission, I hope we still make it to thug mansion. May our tattoo tears not be for the lives we have taken, but for the life we have given to others from speaking our truth and telling our tales. We may trade war stories, but our battles become the books that generations will go on to read and learn from.