A negro girl with skin
As black as a psychic threat,
And plentiful swells of blonde hair,
Sat at a badly tuned piano
And vanquished her fingers upon the keys.
A midnight exultation
Fastened itself on her face,
Quivering over the shrouded prominence
Of her lips and nose.
Her dress was pink and short,
And hung upon her tall, thin body,
Like a lesson in buffoonery.
She lectured her heart on the piano
With violence of minor chords.
Her voice was a prisoner
Whose strong hands turned the bars of his cell
Into musical strings. Wen' tuh Houston, tuh get mah trunk,
Did'n get mah trunk, but ah got dam' drunk.
Well, ahm satisfi-i-ied
Cause ah gotta be-e-e-ee.
The negro girl turned and cursed
With religious incision
At a parrot in a white spittoon.
He pampered his derision
While she played another tune.
Then he saw her long blonde hair
And paused in the midst of his squawk.
I found the negro girl
Walking down a railroad track.
The unconscious humour of sunlight
Disputed the gloom of her skin.
Her gray and dirty clothes
Disgraced the haste of her body.
Her feet and arms were bare
And thin as sensual disappointments.
An egg stood straight upon
The blonde attention of her hair.
The upturned remonstrance of her head
Revealed her balancing effort.
Lacking a more intense food
She dined upon the air
And sang with loosened despair.
Gonna lay mah head right down upon dat--
Down upon dat railroad track!
Gonna rest mah head right down upon dat railroad track.
An' wen the train goes by--'m boy--
Ahm gonna snatch it back.
The negro girl received my gaze
And broke it on her poignant face.
"Why do you carry the egg?" I said.
"If I could only hate it less
I might break it, and undress,"
She answered with motionless lips.