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Mirrors (for David)


Although you know what's best for me,
I cannot act on what you see.
I wish I could:
I really would,
         and joyfully,
act out my salvation
with your imagination.


Although I may not see your heart,
or fearful well-springs of your art,
I know enough to stare
down danger, anywhere.
I know enough to tell
you to go to hell
and when I think you're wrong
I will not go along.
I have a right to tremble
when you begin to crumble.
Your life is my life, too,
and nothing you can do
will make you something other
than my mule-headed brother.

Written by James Baldwin (1924-1987)


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