• The Lovers Of The Poor

    arrive. The Ladies from the Ladies' Betterment League
    Arrive in the afternoon, the late light slanting
    In diluted gold bars across the boulevard brag
    Of proud, seamed faces with mercy and murder hinting... more »

  • The Mother

    Abortions will not let you forget.
    You remember the children you got that you did not get,
    The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,
    The singers and workers that never handled the air.... more »

  • The Rites For Cousin Vit

    Carried her unprotesting out the door.
    Kicked back the casket-stand. But it can't hold her,
    That stuff and satin aiming to enfold her,
    The lid's contrition nor the bolts before.... more »

  • The Sermon On The Warpland

    And several strengths from drowsiness campaigned
    but spoke in Single Sermon on the warpland.
    And went about the warpland saying No.
    “My people, black and black, revile the River.... more »

  • The Sonnet-Ballad

    Oh mother, mother, where is happiness?
    They took my lover's tallness off to war,
    Left me lamenting. Now I cannot guess
    What I can use an empty heart-cup for.... more »

  • The Sundays Of Satin-Legs Smith

    Inamoratas, with an approbation,
    Bestowed his title. Blessed his inclination.
    He wakes, unwinds, elaborately: a cat
    Tawny, reluctant, royal. He is fat... more »

  • The Vacant Lot

    Mrs. Coley’s three-flat brick
    Isn’t here any more.
    All done with seeing her fat little form
    Burst out of the basement door;... more »

  • To Be In Love

    To be in love
    Is to touch with a lighter hand.
    In yourself you stretch, you are well.
    You look at things... more »

  • To The Diaspora

    you did not know you were Afrika

    When you set out for Afrika
    you did not know you were going.... more »

  • Tommy

    I put my seed into the ground
    And said, 'I'll watch it grow.'
    I watered it and cared for it... more »

  • Truth

    And if sun comes
    How shall we greet him?
    Shall we not dread him,
    Shall we not fear him... more »

  • We Real Cool

    We real cool. We
    Left school. We
    Lurk late. We
    Strike straight. We... more »

  • When You Have Forgotten Sunday: The Love Story

    —And when you have forgotten the bright bedclothes on a Wednesday and a Saturday,
    And most especially when you have forgotten Sunday—
    When you have forgotten Sunday halves in bed,... more »

  • Young Afrikans

    Who take Today and jerk it out of joint
    have made new underpinnings and a Head.
    Blacktime is time for chimeful
    poemhood... more »