Philly. You didn’t pull any punches.
Rocky’s city, The Roots’ city. The birthplace of graffiti.
Bird Gang. “Jeet yet,” cheesesteaks, water ice. Jawn. Outta pocket. South Philly soccer in Spanish and West Philly cherry blossoms in summer. Cristina Martinez’s barbacoa.
The hipsters took Fishtown but further north, the carne asadas in the park and on the street, the pierogies and kielbasa in bodega windows, the rodeos in Portuguese, the bachata, the merengue, the reggaeton.
An immigrants’ city. A working class city. A network of communities. Of fighters. No one says “we all we got” except Life who says it daily.
People scoff at Philly and I hear it how I hear rich people mock the tastes of people with less. Philly’s a tough bitch. Philly deserves your respect but doesn’t care if you give it. Philly does Philly. Too busy getting by to be concerned with much else.
The place where I left my 20’s. You were not an easy place to live, put me through the fire til I was not sure if I was “alive or simply burning” (Pavana Reddy).
You made me prove how much I could survive. It took leaving to be able to see the gift in that.