Once a week, for an hour, we work with youth at BronxConnect in groups where they write to tell us about what is going on with them. It can be hard as it requires courage and focus. The writing prompt, 'If You Should See Me' gives the writer an opportunity to challenge stereotypes while asking us to look more closely, at who they are as individuals.
This piece by Savvy tells the story behind her tattoos.
If You Should See Me
If you see me on the streets 9 times out of 10
You only see the ink that runs on my skin
Or the flashy ice that holds on my neck
And if I was to never say a word
Would they know I own my own business?
Would they know I worked hard
For everything I have without handouts?
Do people even take time to understand
The story behind the tattoos?
No, they would only see me wearing my ink
But people don’t understand
What it represents
Everytime the needle touches my skin
It’s like I let go of the pain
Like as if each experience from my past
Disappears in the pain
But it’s not a bad pain
It’s like when you’re crying sometimes you cry tears of joy
Tattoos are pain or joy and pleasure
If I speak upon only the negativity in my life
Would you notice that there’s more positive
They don’t know about my ambitions
They don’t know I strive every day
They don’t know how hard I work everyday
Just not to be labeled as another person from the hood
That didn’t’ make it
I want to be known as someone who worked to be successful
Nonstop everyday 24/7 thinking and moving on action
On how to be a better person
I am me, a tattoo artist
But I bet they don’t know that