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This poem was read by Alejandro Aldana, a young resident of the Pico Neighborhood, at the gang workshop Saturday at John Adams Middle School.

(7/3/2004 @ 10:04 P.M.)

By Alejandro Aldana

My mind is tired of the sirens ringing every hour
I feel like taking a shower to cleanse myself of my wrongdoing
I often question what I am doing, in a time where my confidence is as sporadic as the tread of the wind
It's like I'm living in a state of Catch-22, every situation I'm in is a no win
I'm like, "when will this all end?"
These damn sirens are ringing in my head

Anger was my sole initiative
Once influenced by dudes who would appraise their jewels before their soul
I was like a child who was never given any affection
Once a fool in need of direction
The thought of death led me to contemplate all of my built up resentment
Only then was I brought to my reflection

Once I plead with the divine spirit
It was like I bled from the spine of my wrists
In order to stop the hemorrhage I needed to cleanse myself of my unkempt past and ask for forgiveness as if I were in mass
It became time to stitch those old wounds and bare witness to my redefinition as truth was impending, patience became unending
Finally, those sirens grew accustomed to silence.

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