“Kalifornia” by Andre D. Underwood

Andre D. Underwood


She told me that she loved me.
I was only 8 years old.
She spoke of getting married
After we were grown.
We were both living at the shelter.
The year was 2000.
She was 14—
Damn near a grown woman.
She told me I was kind.
She said that I was sweet.
She told me those were the things
That she loved most about me.
I was so young;
I was naive. 
Blinded through affection,
I could not see.
She only loved the feelings—
Kalifornia never did love me.

from Rattle #76, Summer 2022
Tribute to Prisoner Express


Andre D. Underwood: “I started writing poems back in 2005, because I needed a positive way to express my emotions. So I started channeling how I feel about everything. I channeled the pain, the happiness, the love, the disgust, the fear, and the joy. I wrote about girlfriends, my mom, my brother, my father, my sister, my baby mothers, my enemies, my friends … I even wrote about nature. Poetry is my outlet for my emotions, my freedom of expression—a place where I’m not bound by anything but free to spill my thoughts without consequences.”

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