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Cooley High

Tara Betts

Because teenagers will never know rent parties, because Cabrini Green is now

a ghost that looms over one-bedroom condos that cost more than two-thousand

dollars a month, because they will not know James Brown reinvented the one,

because shooting has become common as bubblegum, because basketball shoes

cost about $200 and Chuck Taylors have been claimed by hipsters, because even

the light-skinned girls are tired of boys trying to clown them, because some of these

shorties will never skip school to go to Lincoln Park Zoo and have a primate throw

shit at their friend who will be the joke they will never forget, because none of them

should know what it means when your friend gets killed under the el, and his tall

polished youth will not save him, and neither will the college scholarship acceptance

letter thrown in the toilet, because no one ever says his name was Cochise, chief

of a tribe led to extermination, because we find joy, even if it’s hard to say goodbye.

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