Gabriel Ramirez | ode to the flower-crown filter on snapchat

at sunrise, i serve myself starlight and stretch
on my mother’s terrace. uncoiling
in the lavender of six-a.m. skies. i say
i am not what was done to me and gold
begins budding at my roots, and blossoms
into radiant grills. my mouth, now, a step
on a staircase toward a heaven where
a group of black boys is called a garden.
i say i am worthy of love and begin
levitating through new york city,
scanning concrete, for what grew from the seeds
angels left behind in the wake of the new-new
testament. i say i don’t want to kill myself and
a casket fills with what won’t let me live.
i tilt my head where the light lands best.
it’s noon and i’m full of tomorrow and
there isn’t a devil to shame or even a god
to question. all that matters is that i am here.
growing. not waiting for unanswered prayers,
instead, waiting to be part of a garden: again.

Gabriel Ramirez is a Afro-Latinx poet, activist, and teaching artist. Gabriel is a mentor at Urban Word NYC and has received fellowships from The Watering Hole, Willow Books, and Callaloo .You can find his work in various spaces, including Youtube, and in publications like The Volta, Jasper, Vinyl and forthcoming in The Offing, African Voices and Afro-Latino Poetry Anthology (Arte Público Press).Contact him: Follow him