The Comparative Clause

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The Comparative Clause

My love poems
are more social justice
Than your hate poems
are more of a statement
Than your complaint poems
Than your I am a political person
Policy person
Punctual, poignant person
Leave all the politicin’
for the politicians
and talk to me about
What makes you blush bright.
Is it pushing fists
or the way fingers fit
A delicate doily of pinky and pointer
The first five seconds between your lips
And his
The taste before the touch
or the didactic diction
of a hush
Over giggles
which are louder
Than your activism, your picket signs, and your protests anyway.

My love poems are bigger
Than the problems you point out in my people,
And I bet, whatever debate you have to throw off me
I can throw it better.
You can’t hustle a hustler
Especially one who is boss in a business like love
My fight is a kick in the jaw
A brass knuckle lick
That hurts like a kiss
Stings like the lipstick she left
On the curve of your neck
To remind you.
I’m harder
Than you’ll ever be
Because you still haven’t learned to speak
Or how not to talk at me
Or for me.
My sonnets beat your speeches
Because I am in love
And you are in different
Which don’t make you different
But dead.

Speak to me in plain
Because your jargon isn’t as pretty as
your pain.

LaGuardia High School student Zora Howard became New York City’s first Youth Poet Laureate through a joint program of Urban Word NYC and the Voter Assistance Commission.

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