Here we go! National Poetry Month, 30/30 Day 1


I searched for Baldwin
at a cafe on Rue Saint-Ambroise
in the black of the coffee
in the fresh of the pastry
in the shake of my french
in the cigarette smoke
in the ornate curve of
terrace ironwork
and the peeling skin
of hand-painted signage

I searched for him
in the bloody wine
and the bubble water
in the vintage shops
(looking for his shoes
his belt)
and even in a book I was reading
written by someone else
cliche wrapped around me
like a fine Parisian scarf

I searched for me
black boy writer
now stammering infant
both abandoned and coddled
in a place that didn’t talk me
didn’t know me
but knew who I was searching for
but didn’t care who
I was searching for
because they too were searching for

who was better, Biggie or Tupac?
as the server set the coffee down
You like Wu-Tang?
as the driver made a left
What you think about Nas?
Kendrick, right?
as the bartender poured the third glass
of red

and turned the music up

and for the first time
I searched for Baldwin there too


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