by Maya Angelou
Your skin like dawn
Mine like musk
One paints the beginning
of a certain end.
The other, the end of a
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
In what other lives or lands
Have I known your lips
The highway is full of big cars
going nowhere fast
And folks is smoking anything that'll burn
You drink a bitter draught.
I sip the tears your eyes fight to hold
A cup of lees, of henbane steeped in chaff.
One innocent spring
your voice meant to me
less than tires turning
When you come to me, unbidden,
To long-ago rooms,
Curtains forcing their will
against the wind,
There is no warning rattle at the door
nor heavy feet to stomp the foyer boards.
Safe in the dark prison, I know that