Les Negres de Paris

by Kwame Dawes

These days I study old photographs
		                 and collect those with bodies
			                              facing away, their backs
their heavy coats, their shawls

and hats, as they move in crowds
through cities covered in snow
or slick with rain, or washed
in plain light—and I imagine
these are the bodies of Black
people, recolonizing the imagination.

And this is how I find my
	             company here far from
		                           home, how I show love,
how I feel safe. Every back,
			                     it seems, is a blood neighbor.
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