Nikki Giovanni




Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day

Don’t look now 
I’m fading away 
Into the gray of my mornings  
Or the blues of every night

Is it that my nails
  keep breaking 
Or maybe the corn 
  on my second little piggy 
Things keep popping out
  on my face 
         or 
  of my life

It seems no matter how 
I try I become more difficult 
  to hold 
I am not an easy woman 
  to want

They have asked 
  the psychiatrists     psychologists     politicians and
  social workers 
What this decade will be
  known for 
There is no doubt        it is
  loneliness

If loneliness were a grape
  the wine would be vintage 
If it were a wood 
  the furniture would be mahogany 
But since it is life          it is
  Cotton Candy 
         on a rainy day
The sweet soft essence 
    of possibility
  Never quite maturing

 I have prided myself 
On being in that great tradition 
    albeit circus 
That the show must go on 
Though in my community the vernacular is 
    One Monkey Don’t Stop the Show

We all line up 
  at some midway point 
To thread our way through
  the boredom and futility 
Looking for the blue ribbon and gold medal 

Mostly these are seen as food labels

We are consumed by people who sing 
  the same old song                 STAY: 
                                                                  as sweet as you are 
                                                                  in my corner
Or perhaps                                          just a little bit longer 
But whatever you do                        don’t change baby baby don’t 
change
Something needs to change
Everything     some say     will change 
 I need a change 
        of pace     face     attitude and life  
Though I long for my loneliness 
I know I need something 
Or someone. 
Or.....

I strangle my words as easily as I do my tears 
I stifle my screams as frequently as I flash my smile 
    it means nothing 
I am cotton candy on a rainy day 
    the unrealized dream of an idea unborn

I share with the painters the desire  
To put a three-dimensional picture  
On a one-dimensional surface