Sweaty Air Poems

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Sweaty Air Poems    
by Yusef Komunyakaa

Woman, I Got the Blues

I’m sporting a floppy existential sky-blue hat

when we meet in the Museum of Modern Art.

Later, we hold each other

with a gentleness that would break open

ripe fruit. Then we slow-drag

to Little Willie John, we bebop

to Bird LPs, bloodfunk, lungs paraphrased

till we break each other’s fall.

For us there’s no reason the scorpion

has to become our faith healer.

Sweet Mercy, I worship

the curvature of your ass.

I build an altar in my head.

I kiss your breasts & forget my name.

Woman, I got the blues.

Our shadows on floral wallpaper

struggle with cold-blooded mythologies.

But there’s a stillness in us like the tip of a magenta mountain.

Half-naked on the living-room floor;

the moon falling through the window

on you like a rapist.

Your breath’s a dewy flower stalk

leaning into sweaty air.

“The Thorn Merchant’s Mistress,” “The Thorn Merchant’s Wife” and

“Woman, I Got the Blues” from

Neon Vernacular by Yusef Komunyakaa ?1993, Wesleyan Press by permission of the University Press of New England.

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©1998 Yusef Komunyakaa and Nerve.com