reading maya angelou

God close my eyes to survey Father Africa

I have survived too much chaste in his town

I need to die from its wispy lightness

Let me ballet through the muscular shape

Of his baked terrain. Hear every screech

Of my fingers along his pulpy skin

At every safari bend

Let me serenade those starry souls

Down Johannesburg

Tongue gospels inside street riots

And let me slake my thirst

With his streaming velvet brine

Let me cycle dunes and crash with his jaguars

Until the sun rises up north

Entomb my red soles

Upon his sleeping strand

While I

Confess to his torrid sons bathing

Naked in the rapids

Let me dance his sweet chamois girls

Into my sacrifice

Seize the biting blackness of his bitter rile

On my breast and let me light

His deadness into lasting fires.

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