I am lazy, the laziest
girl in the world. I sleep during
the day when I want to, 'til
my face is creased and swollen,
The forsythia cascades quiver
No breeze blowing any where else?
I get off the IRT in front of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture after riding an early
Amtrak from Philly to get a hair cut at what used to be the Harlem "Y" barbershop. It gets me in at ten to
ten. Waiting, I eat fish cakes at the Pam Pam and listen to the ladies call out orders: bacon-biscuit twice,
scrambled scrambled fried, over easy, grits, country sausage on the side. Hugh is late. He shampoos me,
My mother loves butter more than I do,
more than anyone. She pulls chunks off
the stick and eats it plain, explaining
Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other's
On suffering, which is real.
On the mouth that never closes,
Filene's department store near nineteen-fifty-three:
An Aunt Jemima floor display.
Sometimes I think about Great-Uncle Paul who left Tuskegee,
Alabama to become a forester in Oregon and in so doing
became fundamentally white for the rest of his life, except