(to Langston Hughes)
We’re standing on the corner of
Lenox Avenue and 142nd Street,
and you’re wearing my favorite
tweed, two button suit. Your
sepia toned fedora sits atop your
head, slightly askew, casting a
shadow over your right eye.
I reach out playfully to raise
the brim, but you grab my wrist,
taking in the dappled scent of
bergamot and rose.
At dinner, you loosen the knot
of your paisley tie and lean in
close, over the polished mahogany.
I place a box in front of you. It’s
a russet toned handkerchief –
an early birthday gift that matches
your suit perfectly. Did you think
I wouldn’t get it right? I’ve spent
seventy-two years looking for this