Perfume-Free Scents.

we tend to meet in
the most commoners’ places;

places like harlem, chicago,
houston, atlanta, new orleans

cities lost within the black man―
which only you can conceive

as the woman who bears him;
as the bearer who comforts him;
as the comforter who strengthens him

as he defies the curse &
curses the defenders of injustice

but all is superlative.

we meet at contacts of eyes
in grocery stores, subways trains,
botanical gardens, coffee shops,

exchanging energies through your smiles,
affectionate hugs

& perfume-free scents

which I inhale and feel strong,
feel desired, feel received

by the black woman we fail to exalt;
by the un-exalted we fail to queen;
by the nubian queen we fail to tribute

as you draw courage through perseverance &
persevere to raise & elevate us to full manhood
( single-handedly sometimes )

but all is superlative.

we celebrate your beauty
shown through your stance, your laughter,
your wool-like hair & the curves that shape you

all which I adore and come here to
acclaim, reverence, and bring vindication.

I find you in high corporate towers, education bases,
on concert stages, even as home-based blessings

in the most common & uncommon places

places like pensacola, boise,  
muskegon, baton rouge, chapel hill

cities lost within the black man―
which only you can conceive

there to provide the love,
support, & strength I need

to make all superlative.

including this moment, including these words.

Mark Anthony Thomas
Copyright © 2004

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