For this piece I’m experimenting with a certain voice, one that has a hint of something ancient. I wanted a different cadence with a touch of staccato.


black girls wear sanguine lipstick on half moon nights in winter’s middle
blue and white crystalline ice journey on the back of the old man

his solemn words are snow falling from his lips
the words touch shivering skin—gentle, kind, cold, patterned

he say, black girls remember when cold made spring-like lips red
he say, they remember him wrapped in blue

winter search for them when they run to the equator
their black skin get blacker, sometimes blue, sometimes purple

the old man sing songs for them
he want them back
he want them laughing for the solstice
under yellow star
with their coal black skin shining for his winter

they shine
black girls with red lips
they shine

old man make white blankets that move and flake and float through air
old man see red lips on black skin
black girls smile, flash white between red

they smile

black girls return
old man smile
he smile white and blue for them

© zaji, 2016