Dear Brooklyn…

I used to see you through rose colored lenses.

Red, blue, green, like the primary colors of a rainbow.

Beauty that could only be expressed as the child birthed from the seeds that were planted in my heart.

For me, you defined love

It was pure, innocent, like a baby’s laugh or like snowflakes in winter falling on my face.

You were perfect…

Always waiting with open arms and I knew that your love resided on your finger tips.

All I had to do was reach out and grab your hand

I used to follow you around aimlessly, a silly little kid

Lost, trying to find my way in you

Chasing you, not knowing what was in store

And it was easy to get lost in the cracks and crevices of your love.

 With no tour guide or no warning signs on the door

I wanted to be with you at all costs

I used to hear your song outside my bedroom window

And like a lovebird you would serenade me with your melody

Only the sound was not as sweet

It was modern day warfare and my ears can never forget the echoes

as you claimed another victory to hang on your wall of fallen soldiers.

I use to walk your mean streets

Armored with nothing more than my hopes and my dreams

Investing all I had in your false prophecy

All’s fair in love and war and you held no prisoners

I remember thinking that I’d never leave you

And I wasn’t sure why I loved you so much

I had front row seats to the pain and destruction you could bring

Drugs, sex, poverty,

Broken promises and broken dreams

Babies crying, mothers trying, fathers dying

You had a piece of each

And me, well, I guess I was foolish and young and naïve

Plus you were a master at deceit 

You disguised yourself as love

Covered up in jewels and fancy things

Blinding us all with temporary pleasures

Like money, cars, clothes

10 year old boys working the corners

Just so that they can cop the newest pair of Jordans

Trying to keep up with the Martinez’s, the Torres’, and don’t forget the Jones’.

I saw uncles, cousins, and friends chase after you like a $2 whore

And you? You were always waiting more than happy to oblige

With legs wide open ready to give them exactly what they were looking for. 

You broke up happy homes and left families torn in pieces

You were self-destruction, misguided, and unappealing

It was then that I slowly began to see that you were a fraud, a con, a schemer, full of deception and lies.

You were not at all as you portrayed yourself to be

You weren’t love you were hate, self-loathing, and devastation and where I once saw a rainbow

was nothing but a mirage washed away like sand that washes into the shore. 

Washed away like a prostitute who washes away every trace of her last client at the end of a long night

Señora de madrugada, washing away his scent

but unable to wash away the feelings of disgust, shame, and guilt.

Just like her, you fooled me into giving you my heart.

But now, today, I take it back.

I’m not gonna let you break me down like you did the rest

You won’t give me the worst of you when I’m at my best

I am beautiful, confident, educated all the things you said I could never be

I finally opened up my eyes to your duplicity

So I stopped chasing an illusion and started chasing a dream

One that was colored with what I wanted my life to be,

one that was colored with my hopes, desires and dreams.

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