(For Blues People)

In the south, sleeping against
the drugstore, growling under   
the trucks and stoves, stumbling   
through and over the cluttered eyes   
of early mysterious night. Frowning   
drunk waving moving a hand or lash.   
Dancing kneeling reaching out, letting   
a hand rest in shadows. Squatting   
to drink or pee. Stretching to climb   
pulling themselves onto horses near   
where there was sea (the old songs   
lead you to believe). Riding out   
from this town, to another, where   
it is also black. Down a road
where people are asleep. Towards   
the moon or the shadows of houses.   
Towards the songs’ pretended sea.

Amiri Baraka, “Legacy” from Black Magic (Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1969). Copyright © 1969 by Amiri Baraka. Reprinted with the permission of Sll/Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.
Source: Black Magic (Bobbs-Merrill, 1969)
More Poems by Amiri Baraka