If there’s no picture perfect skyline,
is it even Philly anymore?
Even if the schools are the same,
cockroach stuffed and lackluster,
educating only that education isn’t worth it
when it’s all for show to earn
money that the mayor now borrows from mystery sources
because we weren’t good enough to earn it.
When you and all your friends get scattered,
lucky enough to get out of the borders,
because here your C is a one way ticket to burger flipping,
but a C there is penn state admission.
Does it stop being Philly enough with the crime rate?
When there’s no more gun shots?
When you know who mugs you,
cause it’s just a way to bully you?
When your dealer’s just another kid,
a high school dropout, in his parents basement?
Where the crimes are committed by drunk teenagers,
and the cops let them get away with it,
cause they’re never gonna make it,
might as well have fun before they got their own kids?
How about how we act with each other,
is it a different Philly then?
When the neighbor girl is crying,
since someone killed her boyfriend,
and your whole family’s there for her,
is that any different,
then how anyone in this city would act
if someone they knew was hurting?
Does Philly stop before it’s close to the edge.
Because the kids across the street got it better,
more money, nicer houses, that don’t reflect
the side of the street still in the border,
where the houses are old and meticulously kept,
prided in despite the too hot summers, and the
Where the basement floods a little, smells a little,
the mold might make you sick a little.
Does Philly stop cause all you know,
are skyscrapers and corner stores?
Because you’re all about Philly,
as long as your friends back home think,
it’s all h&m’s and police alerts.
Does it stop when you don’t know,
or don’t share the part that looks like
every other rundown working class suburb,
in your hometown?
The part where you know how your life’s gonna go,
move two blocks away from your parents.
Even though it’s just as real,
is it not cool enough, or tough enough
for you to associate it,
with the city you adopted?