H.A. Baker Jr.

1979M

Words for a Sister I Know

O yes they do!
the pressures squeeze black folks
and my desire
to keep a name apart
from so simple an act
as love
as meaning
is colored
specifically as fire and
just as helpful

my friend says
feeling through is
the answer
plays blues above tv and
dedicates books to his wife:
the forests by his house
are filled with spirits

my hollowness
will not move
let your muscle, blood, skin--
you know,
the realness of you--
come on in

there is no Black man
beneath these folds:
a hidden name
a complex fate
a subtle anger that it is so.

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