(And I, I am no longer of that world)
Naked, he lies in the blinded room
chainsmoking, cradled by drugs, by jazz
as never by any lover's cradling flesh.
Miles Davis coolly blows for him:
O pena negra, sensual Flamenco blues;
the red clay foxfire voice of Lady Day
(lady of the pure black magnolias)
sobsings her sorrow and loss and fare you well,
dryweeps the pain his treacherous jailers
have released him from for a while.
His fears and his unfinished self
await him down in the anywhere streets.
He hides on the dark side of the moon,
takes refuge in a stained-glass cell,
flies to a clockless country of crystal.
Only the ghost of Lady Day knows where
Only the music.
And he swings
oh swings: beyond complete immortal now.
by Robert Hayden
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