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The Greatest Story Never Told

I’ve read enough Greek myths and lived
through enough Devil’s Night arsons
to know that fire purifies as much as it
destroys. Kills as much as it rebirths.

And I’ve seen that same fire in enough
of my friends to know that
ashes aren’t the end. Or the beginning.

We are not beginning. We are not
“just starting.” We’ve been here.

Molding what you call “ruin.” What you call
ash. What you call “Abandoned” into the very
culture you claim is “new” and “emerging”—
like this isn’t just a normal week for us. Like
we haven’t been turning the short-end-of-
the-stick into a paintbrush since before
y’all thought graffiti was cool or beautiful.

I’ve seen kids shoot music videos out the
backs of cars they can’t legally drive.

I’ve heard high school students
weave words that from the mouths
of others would be contrived.

I’ve got friends painting and taking pictures
you’ve got to see while you’re alive.

I’ve met philosophers in barbershops,

Historians outside liquor stores,

Archaeologists on playgrounds,

Scientists, mathematicians,
and clergyman on parole.

We are the greatest story never told.

Detroit. Is not a Phoenix.
We did not come back from the dead.
Yes, our future is bright.
We just want you to see what
we’re doing NOW instead.

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