As a Black Child I was a dreamer
I brought a red scarf and women told me how
Beautiful it looked. Wandering through the heart of France
As France wandered through me.
In the evenings, I would watch the funny people make love,
My youth allowed me the opportunity to hear
All those strange
Verbs conjugated in erotic affirmations,
I knew love at twelve.
When Salassie went before his peers and
Africa gained dignity
I read in two languages, not really caring
Which one belonged to me.
My mother lit a candle for King George,
My father went broke, we died.
When I felt blue, the champs understood,
And when it was crowded, the ally
Behind Harry’s New York bar soothed my
I liked to watch the Bohemians gaze at the
Paintings along Gauguin’s bewildered paradise.
Bracque once passed me in front of the Café’ Musique
I used to watch those professors examine
American never quite fitted in, but they
Tried, so we smiled.
I guess the money was too much for my folks,
Hitler was such a prig and a scare, they caught
The last boat. I stayed.
Main street was never then same, I read Gide
And tried to
Translate Proust. (Now nothing is real except
For absurdity is reality, my loneliness unreal,
And I shall die an old Parisian, with much honor…