Keep Your Mouth Shut

about the gun in his locker because you

knew nothing would happen and don’t

want to scare all the white kids. Keep on

a straight face inside the locker room, if

you know what you mean. Keep your fitted

to the front unless fronting especially hard

that day. Keep a hobby after school, some

constructive activity. Keep on the good side

of all your teachers. Keep your grades up

like the fists they are. Keep your cellphone,

on vibrate, in your front pocket, like a soft

hand. Keep a girl in mind. Keep sober on

weekends. Keep your friends few, between

you and a blue wall. Keep that fickle taste,

a pickiness for meat. Keep your head up.

Keep shooting till you make one, and then

go inside the house. Keep the house, as best

you can, a very quiet place. Keep an eye out

for suspicious acts of love on the floor or in

the kitchen. Keep a journal that can never be

found, chiseled on the inside of your skull.

Keep all your metaphors in birdcages. Keep

yourself, meaning refrigerate, be cold, persist.

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