Shafro Poem by Terrance Hayes


Rating: 5.0

Now that my afro's as big as Shaft's
I feel a little better about myself.
How it warms my bullet-head in Winter,

black halo, frizzy hat of hair.
Shaft knew what a crown his was,
an orb compared to the bush

on the woman sleeping next to him.
(There was always a woman
sleeping next to him. I keep thinking,

If I'd only talk to strangers. . .
grow a more perfect head of hair.)
His afro was a crown.

Bullet after barreling bullet,
fist-fights & car chases,
three movies & a brief TV series,

never one muffled strand,
never dampened by sweat--
I sweat in even the least heroic of situations.

I'm sure you won't believe this,
but if a policeman walks behind me, I tremble:
What would Shaft do? What would Shaft do?

Bits of my courage flake away like dandruff.
I'm sweating even as I tell you this,
I'm not cool,

I keep the real me tucked beneath a wig,
I'm a small American frog.
I grow beautiful as the theatre dims.

Madhabi Banerjee 03 June 2016

nice poem. well dipected. keep writing

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M Fazek 07 December 2008

I love hayes poetry! he experiments with self image in the wake of pop culture.

1 1 Reply
Kash Earley 24 April 2008

Wow! Saw it all, and I am so filled, and full....that you are out there in this mist. You Terrance with the wonder of words....and makin' in real. I thank you for that. Kash Earley

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