I was parading the Côte d'Azur, hopping the short trains from Nice to Cannes, following the maze of streets in Monte Carlo to the hill that overlooks the ville. A woman fed me pâté in the afternoon, calling from her stall to offer me more. At breakfast I talked in French with an old man about what he loved about America--the Kennedys. On the beaches I walked and watched topless women sunbathe and swim, loving both home and being so far from it. At a phone looking to Africa over the Mediterranean, I called my father, and, missing me, he said, "You almost home boy. Go on cross that sea!"
Afaa Michael Weaver - 1951-
What Elizabeth Bishop Could Not Know
Black women keep secrets tied up in hankies they stuff in their bras, secrets of how their necks are connected to their spines in the precise gyration of a jelly sweetened in nights they had to keep to themselves, nights prowlers came in to change the faces of their children, secrets like the good googa mooga laughter they do with each other when something affirms their suspicions, when their eyes are made the prayerbooks of fate crafted in the wisdom that knows there is no north or south in black wandering, searching the new land, a song they wrestle from black men, the broken ones who had to be shown where and how to stand, how to respect pain and the way it governs itself, secrets, things made out of generations and not kept in the glass selections of an old juke box.