my barber started cutting when everyone
was copping my cut. top high
sides faded to ether. got to
the point you weren’t cool if
you weren’t rocking it . you weren’t
no barber talking bout how you
really didn’t really know how to
cut it . cut it . I grew
up in the age of caesars .
afros mowed to make way for
the prosperity gospel respectability politics promised to
prosper . now I massage coconut
oil into my scalp
feels heavenly .
Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah is a Ghanaian-American poet living out the diaspora in Boston, Massachusetts. He is both Black & alive. Emmanuel serves as an associate editor for Pizza Pi Press and as the reviews editor for Winter Tangerine. The former director of curriculum for Boston Pulse, a youth-empowerment organization focused on promoting positive change for young folk and their communities through spoken word, Emmanuel currently teaches High School aged youth as the Walltalk Teaching Artist at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Emmanuel’s work can be found in places such as the Hartford Courant, Narrative Northeast, and Bird’s Thumb. Whenever possible, he enjoys hot carbs, brightly colored chapbooks, and the long sigh at the end of a good book.