Poem for Haruko

By June Jordan 1936–2002 June Jordan
I never thought I’d keep a record of my pain
or happiness
like candles lighting the entire soft lace
of the air
around the full length of your hair/a shower
organized by God
in brown and auburn
undulations luminous like particles
of flame
 
But now I do
retrieve an afternoon of apricots
and water interspersed with cigarettes
and sand and rocks
we walked across:
                        How easily you held
my hand
beside the low tide
of the world
 
Now I do
relive an evening of retreat
a bridge I left behind
where all the solid heat
of lust and tender trembling
lay as cruel and as kind
as passion spins its infinite
tergiversations in between the bitter
and the sweet
 
Alone and longing for you
now I do

June Jordan, “Poem for Haruko” from Directed by Desire. Copyright © 2005 by June Jordan. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press

Source: Directed by Desire (Copper Canyon Press, 2005)

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Poet June Jordan 1936–2002

Subjects Living, The Body, Love, Desire, Relationships

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 June  Jordan

Biography

One of the most widely-published and highly-acclaimed African American writers of her generation, poet, playwright and essayist June Jordan was also known for her fierce commitment to human rights and progressive political agenda. Over a career that produced twenty-seven volumes of poems, essays, libretti, and work for children, Jordan engaged the fundamental struggles of her era: over civil rights, women’s rights, and sexual . . .

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SUBJECT Living, The Body, Love, Desire, Relationships

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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