Little girl blue



are you a fashionable person?

do you wear the right cut of cloth

is your skin color c‘est très envogueen ce moment?

will you pass muster?

or the size of your nostrils betray you

to the fiends who covet space on the race train

when Nina Simone relocated to Aix-en-Provence

sometimes at eleven PM I heard her sing

I wish I knew how it would feel to be free

the waiters whispered; elle est femme noire

poured her lilac wine

and it seemed so much more fitting

than other N words

she was proud of her high brow

the way her lips bowed in anger like

a musical instrument puckering for play

upright and open-mouthed

nothing vanquished her

save the disease of her mind

found in the belly of drugs

for damaged nightingale women

her psyche cast adrift

by the division of her country

split by color…

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