Fruitvale Is

I know a place held together
By a level stretch of road
Two expressways
And a perfect myth
Where the houses are pastels
Broken Easter eggshells
Scattered about the chewed up hills
I know a dog named Bunny
That gets loose and chases pigeons
On the downward slope of Manzanita
I know a woman named Jackie
With a voice like a secretive canary
That bird only knows one tune
She hobbles over fissured slabs
Through the “murder dubs”
With a light in her heart
And Jesus across the chest
Fruitvale is on fire
Like that car melted in half
Clothes spilling out the back of an exit wound
Like every hunk of metal
Every gold-toothed grin
Like that temple riveted on high
Just briefly tanned in an tangerine syrup
At the breaks in conversation
The BART hums a thing soothing
Sings a note familiar
Wails a tale wretched
At the top of one hill
Live three wise men
Pacing well into the evening
A witch whose cauldron bubbles over
The finest solvent for miles and miles
I know baristas quite like Paul Revere
That tell me the skittish are coming
We won’t shoot until we see the apples on their Macbook pros
But Fruitvale is on fire
Like glow in the eyes of JKF
Like coal in the throat of PCR
I know a neighbor with an electric chair in her living room
I know a food truck like a medic
Like an answer
Like a second chance
I know a woman who whenever a seam came loose
Out of being either too wet or too damn reckless
She made it a rope to tie this place together even tighter
Dropping and rolling means stopping
And none of us can afford that
Fruitvale is on fire folks
Who the fuck is gonna put us out?

About the Author: Rohan DaCosta (MHDA) is multi-disciplined creator and curator out of Chicago. His work includes photography, clothing design, literature, and music production. Rohan DaCosta is the founder of GRACEGOD The Collective. You can see more of his work at