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Countee Cullen

(30 May 1903 – 9 January 1946 / New York)

To A Brown Boy


That brown girl's swagger gives a twitch
To beauty like a Queen,
Lad, never damn your body's itch
When loveliness is seen.

For there is ample room for bliss
In pride in clean brown limbs,
And lips know better how to kiss
Than how to raise white hymns.

And when your body's death gives birth
To soil for spring to crown,
Men will not ask if that rare earth
Was white flesh once, or brown.

Submitted: Monday, March 29, 2010

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