You know this place,
intertwined with tree-lined streets,
where women walk their dogs
when the maid has a sick son.
The pavement is always shiny
like the shoes of the businessmen
who drive into the city to keep their collars white.
It’s a place where churches and Starbucks
rival each other in number.
The schools are always new,
and the halls smell like success.
Boys looking up their girlfriend’s skirt,
girls acting like they don’t notice,
applying Chanel to their lips.
Students use the bathroom
to sell cocaine out of the handicapped stall.
They wash the remains down the toilet,
trade test answers for pills,
and vomit lunch to keep down the weight.
The place I come from is beautiful,
I think the sun always shines.
Everyone is so pretty.
But once I left I found a different kind of beautiful.