for Ernest Hunter
We're alone now,
and I was singing
this song for you
What must it have been like
for a colored man to love his woman in 1958?
Brown bodies braided on cotton sheets,
their hips moved slow and deliberate.
Her fingers combed his dark landscape
before the light of daybreak
that broke his heart open
in the heat of an indifferent Georgia sun.
He hummed his blues for her
moaned under the blows of a billy club
until his very last note.
Until his very last note,
he moaned under the blows of a billy club,
hummed his blues for her
in the heat of an indifferent Georgia sun
that broke his heart open.
Before the light of daybreak
her fingers combed his dark landscape,
their hips moved slow and deliberate,
brown bodies braided on cotton sheets.
For a colored man to love his woman in 1958,
that's what it must have been like.
201 The Paris-American
Lolita Stewart-White is a Cave Canem Fellow and a Pushcart nominee. She was a semi-finalist for the Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize and the Rattle Poetry Contest. Lolita was also a Sundance Screenwriters Intensive Fellow and the winner of ‘Pitch Miami’ sponsored by the Women’s International Film Festival for her screenplay ‘All-American.’ Her writing has appeared in the Iowa Review, Callaloo, Brilliant Corners, Kweli and many others. She lives in Miami with her husband and seven-year-old daughter, Lola.
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