The Bystander

“Sidewalks show me all the sounds of the streets”

I was there when we all sat on the curbs and brainstormed about success. I was there when we played games on PS2 and passed the sticks to whoever was next.

I was there when the adults stepped outside. I was there whenever my dad told me to stay inside.

I, I, I, I have habits from childhood that I still can’t kick. I used to stutter terribly, now my speaking skills are what got me to this

I said I’d run out of stories when I turned 18. I’ve been 18 or 2 years, now I’m almost a year over 20.

The streets never lie, but who said they told the truth? Who said what we’re pouring out for the lost ones will even serve its use?

How could we send them well wishes when they barely had any? I bet right now they want a 7th or an 8th like the letters we always forget in Henny.

The street dreams they dared to envision promised them 2 s’s only with lines through them. Now what do they have? Just a few T-shirts and a couple days every few years to show that we miss em’.

I guess my piece of concrete was different, I never had to pick up a tool. My box was different, it didn’t just stop at

I’m not from it but I know it, the culture is funny like that. For all my accolades and recommendations, I just want my life back.

My box wasn’t just looking down, it was looking up too. I have clear glass on both ends of my spectrum, and I still don’t know what to do.

I know brothas with 4.0’s, I knew brothas who never made it home. Life is funny like that. I try to keep myself and the people I love together, but I know I’ll crack.

Not like the one on the streets, not like the ones in the concrete, but kind of like the eyes I see in peoples eyes lately. Like they’re not here anymore, like all they have left is the energy to speak

Like a mirror that’s dropped. You know how they section, there’s always one symmetrical, solid shard left. A shard so beautiful, and yet its crime is only being low enough to get swept.

I wish I had the freedom to be dramatic, I wish I was asthmatic. All these problems in the world, and my problem is that I click.

I’m good in the classroom, I’m good under pressure. I’m supposed to be perfect, and yet I feel like just another lever.

Moving, yeah, but still caught in an uncontrolled motion. So celebrated for doing something “right”, yet little space given to be open

My room to grow always stopped at the space in my room. Even now I’m on break and I’m stuck in this gloom.

I’m in this bog, in this funk, I’m in this 20 year state with habits that make me feel drunk.

I don’t want to, but I need to. I feel too, but people rarely see what the “strong” go through. Life is moving just slow enough to show me where I can go wrong.

It’s like I’m just carrying different clouds with me, now I see why the Weeknd sings the way he does in his songs.

I don’t yell out my problems, I don’t scream out my fears. I don’t get into fights, I don’t disappear. I don’t wander into the night, I don’t sing until you hear.

I just write it all down, I just write it all here.

– Lebert Lester III


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