Typing in the Dark

Sharp’s fourth published volume of poetry includes photographs by Calvin R. Hicks, Nathaniel Bellamy, Gerald Cyrus,  Adele Hodge
and Sharp.    Harlem River Press, New York, 1991.    Cover photo by Calvin R. Hicks.

We Still Write Love Poems

We still write love poems

because in the deepest

most resonant part

of our collective spirit

We won’t let love

be taken away from us.

because it keeps hate
from getting out of hand
because We have
tenure in forgiveness
and tenderness
as plentiful as mornings.
so pin a poem to the lynching tree
dance a dance for the spirits at sea

give honor to the tribes of Surinam
sound the horn for the Bloods of ‘Nam

beat the drum for Amistad
blow the sax for Soledad

ring the bell for the Black Star Line
create a praisesong for the Little Rock 9

write rhyme for the daughters of Birmingham
make word dance on the graves of Klan

haiku for the minds that went away
sing the song for Marvin Gaye

stomp down strong for Soweto
throw the bones for old Jim Crow

lay hands on Boston and Bensonhurst
chant a chant for democracy’s curse

juba back the pain, the fear
record the way of our survival here

We still write love poems
because it heals us
coming slow in the day
or late in the life
bandaging pain and absence

because love is the ground on which
our soul dances
the breath of the womb
the silence hovering over the grave
We still write love poems

S. Pearl Sharp