Poetic Justice

Baltimore City’s Youth Poet Laureate shares original work "What If..."

Kaitlyn Pacheco - August 2019

Poetic Justice

Baltimore City’s Youth Poet Laureate shares original work "What If..."

Kaitlyn Pacheco - August 2019

In April, 19-year-old Deleicea Greene was crowned this year’s Baltimore City Youth Poet Laureate, becoming the fifth local student to hold the coveted title. We asked the Woodlawn High School alum to share the poem "What If...,” which she created based on the idea that everyone can create their own heaven. "No one knows what truly makes an individual happy and content,” Greene says. "So anybody—more specifically a black boy from Baltimore—can already have their heaven without having to die."

What If...

What if another black boy from Baltimore was murdered by the police
his body still
his white tee bloody
his True Religion jeans soaked in deep red
His Freddie Gray New Balances stained
his soul is no immortal
and drifts
until he reaches heaven

but what is his heaven?

when he arrives do they play Lor Scoota
instead of gospel hymns?
Do the Angels wear "RIP insert black boys' name"
on the back of their wings?

Does God have straight hair and blue eyes
does he rock a cruddy and fronts?

what if a black boys heaven isn't the same hue
as the man that killed him
but what if his heaven is the studio
and he raps praises into the mic
and his hymns are beats produced by metro booming
and his homeboys are in the back room hyping him up

What if
His heaven was a chicken box
salt pepper ketchup and a half and half

You May Also Like


Movie Review: Pain and Glory

Almodóvar’s most personal film is also his most subdued

Arts & Culture

By The Book

Pigtown welcomes Charm City Books to the neighborhood.

Arts District

The Big Baltimore Playlist: October 2019

The top five local songs you should download right now.

Arts & Culture

Cameo: Bonnie Hoppa

We talk to the new executive director of The Book Thing.

Arts & Culture

Book Reviews: October 2019

The latest from Rusty Tagliareni, Christina Mathews, and Jack Slocomb

Connect With Us

Most Read

Mindgrub Opening Tech and Food Infusion Project in Riverside: Todd and Nikki Marks combine their interests for hybrid concept in former Rachel space.

Miller Steps Down as Maryland Senate President; Baltimore's Bill Ferguson Tapped to Succeed: Longest serving Senate president in state history has been battling cancer.

North Ave. Market Celebrates Grand Opening in Station North: Pending liquor board approval, Baltimore will finally have a bar-and-arcade concept.

The Orioles Aren’t Moving Out of Town, But They Have a Long Way To Go: Putting a wrap on relocation rumors and the O’s predictable 2019 season.

Scenes from Congressman Cummings’ Funeral at New Psalmist Baptist Church: Mourners share memories of the Baltimore leader and civil rights advocate.