October Snowpea Poem, by June Jordan

So as the sun declines below Detroit

(the lake a cool

assurance of alternatives to hard

dark high-rise


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


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


by himself

a young black man



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


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

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