Graffiti Freedom

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No matter how many times
The wall is painted over
It will never be as crisp and white
As it was when I first saw it.

The nicknames in graffiti
Of different colors
Of different sizes
Of different shapes
The curse words written in charcoal
The mural of the black man,
A hard frown etched onto his solid face

All hardly visible
Beneath the blinding new paint
And yet still etched
And painted into the minds
Of those who saw the beautiful picture
While it was still there.

And in an attempt to tame that wall
Full of haphazard ideas and creativity
They came with cans of paint
And bristled, horsehair brushes

No more free-flowing spray,
No more minds set on freedom,
Just hard looks and harder hearts.

And we watched as they took
The feelings of the people away
And covered them
In a blank void
With fresh, intoxicating fumes.


And the curse words,
And the nicknames,
And the cold old man,
Became shielded from all view
In order to create
A fresh start, a tamed start,
To a restrained life that is structured
Without even lines, in order to create,
A never-ending sense of restlessness.

But you can’t erase the past.
Because it will always find
Its way to expand
And make its way back.

And the next day, when I walked,
Wearing my jeans,
And black-stained Tee,
Walked by that same wall
On my way to work,
There were new curses,
In new colors, and new murals,
With new people with hard faces,
And it almost seemed,
As if the wall hadn’t even
Been whitened over before.





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