On September 18th 2002 in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire
gunshots rang through the city like a blaring techno beat
My mother shoved me, and my two brothers into her bedroom
And pinned us to the ground tight,
overnight, the military had taken over the government
And I woke up smack in the middle of a coup.
On December 17, 2010, Mohammed Bouazizi brought the world to its feet
By lighting himself on fire and sparking the Arab Spring
And Tunisia, a country that I had called home,
went up in flames as protestors ransacked my high school,
and swarmed the streets
in the name of democracy
On August 11, 2017 my college campus became a battleground
confederate flags dotted the streets of Charlottesville
And klansmen chanted everything
that let me know that this was no longer home for me anymore.
And so, go ahead, grab a seat and welcome to my chaos.
It looks like a swat team busting down your doorstep,
It is a protest
a clutched suitcase
a hungry passport,
Running and hoping to find refuge on the other side
Chaos is the ink in my pen
It is what births these poems
Gives me the courage
To stand up, and find them a home on a stage
And so in a way, chaos is my microphone.
What are you doing with your chaos?