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October Snowpea Poem, by June Jordan

March 22, 1998

So as the sun declines below Detroit

(the lake a cool

assurance of alternatives to hard

dark high-rise

miscellaneous)

the colors of the end of light

relax along the horizontal edge of this

blue place

with burnt sienna

rose and oranges

that soften into regular

domestic tragedies

of night

without a lover's willing

face

to stop the desperation of the chase

for daytime stars

that glint and blur and mix and lift

like mica sprinkling

on a concrete hierogylph of altered space

where

by himself

a young black man

sits

still

for no good reason

so do I turn to memorize

the soft excitement of the homestretch of your lips

and close to the hypnosis

of your almost closing eyes

I spin to the surprise

of no pain / no pain

whatsoever

From "Kissing God Goodbye" by June Jordan (Anchor: 100 pp., $12)

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