Langston joins me for coffee and poetry. I do not believe he likes George Strait, my musical morning Muse.
“Why not jazz?” he asks.
“I’ll turn on jazz later, when I’m editing. It helps me untangle sentences,” I tell him.
“Hmph,” he says. “Wake me then.”
“Wait. I’m about to read.” I pull out my book and open to the poem “You could spend.”
Each star a stone
in the river of sky—
the Milky Way’s bright tide
wringing me awake.
“Who’s that?” Langston asks.
“Hmm, I like him. Makes me think of my own poem, ‘The Negro Speaks of Rivers.'”
“My soul has grown deep like the rivers,” I quote.
“Yes,” he says. “Or ‘Life is Fine.’ It’s got a river, too.”
I nod. “The first part is hard, but I get that. It makes the ending all the better.”
So since I’m still here livin’
I guess I will live on.
I could’ve died for love—
but for livin’ I was born.
Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry—
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.
Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!
“You do have wine, don’t you?” Langston asks.
“Later,” I say. “We have work to do, dear poet.”