Self-Portrait as Kendrick Lamar

Self-Portrait as Kendrick Lamar, Laughing to the Bank

This, what God feels like: laughing
alone in an empty room of tiny doors,
behind every door a metal box, inside each
a man’s red heart, lying. I don’t write
of the cartoonish thing split and jagged
at its insides. Instead, of how I break
even across the same backs spindled by hate.
I tell God I understand and what I mean is
I’ve noticed good people must die to let
there be light in my house. We share a likeness,
God and I, both laughing like something
green folded in our throats. Laughing mean-
while somebody’s auntie asks for Anything
Helps. Laughing when people say they don’t
want to read about the bad stuff. Crying
laughing as we pass our pain off as an offering
plate. Sometimes I nervous chuckle, knowing
trauma pays, but the only time I really laugh
is when I’m laughing to the bank like a-ha.

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