DO NOTHING TILL YOU HEAR FROM ME (for Langston Hughes) by David Henderson.

i arrive /Langston
the new york times told me when to come
but I attended your funeral
late by habit of colored folk and didnt miss a thing
you lie on saint Nicolas avenue
between the black ghetto & sugar hill
where slick black limousines await yr body
for the final haul from neutral
santa claus avenue harlem usa

you are dressed sharp & dark as death
yr cowlick is smooth like the Negro gentlemen
in the ebony whiskey ads /
gone is yr puff of face yr paunch of chest tho
yr lips are fuller now especially on the side
where hazard had you a cigarette /
two sisters felines of egypt vigil
yr dead body one is dressed in a dean picker’s brown
the other is an erstwhile gown
of the harlem renaissance /
they chatter like all the sapphires
of Kingfish’s harem /old sister old relations

in writing the fine details
of yr last production
you would have the black sapphires /there
guardians of yr coffin yr argosy in life & death
the last time blues /
with no hesitations…day of the vernal winds / 1967

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