for Langston


Theater crowd.  Blaring lights.
A night surfeited with murmuring


voices.  A cold wind licked shiny
bracelets around my ankles.  I saw


a dark woman in a red dress.  A vixen
more sure of herself than I’ve ever been.


Mouth, purse, nails, shoes— red.
Tantamount to blood on black soil.


I forgot where I was, what street
I was on.  My breasts balled


into fists.  My sex wept.
Somewhere, I knew


Susanna Jones smiled.