Harlem Night Club

Sleek black boys in a cabaret.
Jazz-band, jazz-band,—
Play, plAY, PLAY!
Tomorrow. . . . who knows?
Dance today!

White girls’ eyes
Call gay black boys.
Black boys’ lips
Grin jungle joys.

Dark brown girls
In blond men’s arms.
Jazz-band, jazz-band,—
Sing Eve’s charms!

White ones, brown ones,
What do you know
About tomorrow
Where all paths go?

Jazz-boys, jazz-boys,—
Play, plAY, PLAY!
Tomorrow. . . . is darkness.
Joy today!

From The Weary Blues (Alfred A. Knopf, 1926) by Langston Hughes. This poem is in the public domain.