White-Boy-Raps-So-Bad

His name tells of how it was with him.
he seemed to be very, very confused.

We were afraid that his Irish would be lost,
that he would start breakdancing at family reunions
while his uncles played the fiddle
and his cousins stepped the jig
or that he might tilt his hat so far sideways
that his freckles would start naming themselves things
like Big L and Heavy D.

I remember one Saturday morning,
his parents found him planted in front of a music video,
his overalls turned backwards
while he mouthed the words to Criss-Cross
as the portrait of his Nanny from the other side of the pond
glared down from the mantle in disbelief.

Later it was said,
he would jump into a freestyle cipher
with several of his students
who were rapping about time
because that was the only word that mattered to them.

Later it was said,
he cut himself open
to show the tribe
that we all bleed the same color.

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