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This poem is taken from PN Review 263, Volume 48 Number 3, January - February 2022.

Chaunt John Robert Lee

‘Time has no future’
Toni Morrison

arrange your griefs
with white roses
wreaths & yellow lilies —

her grace, elusive
penetrating gaze, untranslatable
smile at her lips’ corners—

the purple balloon rises
above scraping trowels, hymns
appealing for remembrance, an unplanned tear
running off the cheek of a drizzling sky.


on this first afternoon of your last April
sadness plays the fool
as news of your death sounds
like knuckling of a kenté drum

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