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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?

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