Letters from America

by Jéanpaul Ferro

We always thought you should be proud
of your black skin, but you never were—

Black is the Shakespeare of all colors.

It is carnal like white is carnal, like blue,
like a red rain in the dead of night;

this unquenchable essence; something cupped
in the brand fires of the plains; half the day being black,
the nighttime sky full of this all encompassing blackness
that travels on forever.

And look at you!

Your eyes are the dusk over New Orleans. Your hair
is the day breaking over the Nile. Your feet this perfect
juxtaposition of Mississippi Jazz.

Black is the rough-hewn clay of all colors, it is the color of rebellion,
the color of the soul of James Brown, Johnny Cash, Hank Aaron, the
Beatles, Africa, and India.

On the moon the earth sits in a wet field of blackness,
a blue jewel-spot set in the dark tone of the universe,
look around you at all that is black everywhere,

God loves black—it is what you see when you close
your eyes to dream.

Essendo Morti - Being Dead (Goldfish Press, 2009)

Jéanpaul Ferro's picture

A 10-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Jéanpaul Ferro’s work has appeared on National Public Radio, Contemporary American Voices, Columbia Review, Emerson Review, Connecticut Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Portland Monthly, Rattle Magazine, Arts & Understanding Magazine, and others. He is the author of All The Good Promises (Plowman Press, 1994), Becoming X (BlazeVox Books, 2008), You Know Too Much About Flying Saucers (Thumbscrew Press, 2009), Hemispheres (Maverick Duck Press, 2009) Essendo Morti – Being Dead (Goldfish Press, 2009), nominated for the 2010 Griffin Prize in Poetry; and Jazz (Honest Publishing, 2011), nominated for both the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize and the 2012 Griffin Prize in Poetry. He is represented by the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. Website: www.jeanpaulferro.com * E-mail: jeanpaulferro@netzero.net

Last updated August 30, 2011