Jazz Poetry – ‘Woman, I got the Blues’ by Yusef Komunyakaa

Woman, I Got the Blues

I'm sporting a floppy existential sky-blue hat when we meet in the Museum of Modern Art.

Later, we hold each other with a gentleness that would crack open ripe fruit. Then we slow-drag to Little Willie John, we bebop to Bird LPs, bloodfunk, lungs paraphrased till we break each other's fall. For us there's no reason the scorpion has to become our faith healer.

Sweet Mercy, I worship the curvature of your ass. I build an altar in my head. I kiss your breasts & forget my name.

Woman, I got the blues.

Our shadow on floral wallpaper struggle with cold-blooded mythologies.

But there's a stillness in us like the tip of a magenta mountain.

Half-naked on the living-room floor; the moon falling through the window on you like a rapist.

Your breath's a dewy flower stalk leaning into sweaty air.

Yusef Komunyakaa


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