AfroPoets Famous Writers


I wish I had known more
than love ever knows, in time.
One imagines that time
gives the time
to quarrel,
correct, tyrannize,
and love.

Baby brother,
the light of your passage
has become the light in my own:
and I had planned it, bambino,
quite the other way around.

Enough. So much for plans.
Enough of calculations.
I will never see you
as I saw you,
never touch you or kiss you
or scold you again.

You were very patient with me
very loving
but I was sure that I would die before you
and wanted you to be able to live without me.
So much for calculations.
So much for wisdom.
So much for age.
You have humbled me, my friend,
who, now, must learn to live without you.

I will miss, forever,
your eyes, your walk,
your talk-enough
My friend, Miss Lena Horne,
and many other saints
sing you, my darling, into the womb of eternity.
Therefore, farewell,
                for now:
Dig you, later: alligator.

Written by James Baldwin (1924-1987)


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