Nikki Giovanni


finding myself still fascinated
by the falls and rapids
i nonetheless prefer the streams
contained within the bountiful brown shoreline
i prefer the inland waters
to the salty seas
knowing that journeys end
as they begin
the sailor and his sail
the lover and her beloved
the light of day and night’s darkness

i walk the new york streets
the heat rising in waves
to singe my knees
my head is always down
for i no longer look for you
usually i am cold no matter
what the temperature
i hunch my hands in the pockets of my pants
hoping you will be home
when i get there

i know i’m on dangerous ground 
i misread your smile all year 
assured that you and therefore everything
was all right
i wade from the quiet
of your presence into the turbulence
of your emotions
i have now understood a calm day
does not preclude a stormy evening
con edison after all went out
why shouldn’t you

and though it took longer than anyone thought
the lights did come back on
why shouldn’t yours
electricity is a product of the sea
as much as the air
coming from turbulence
as much as generators

if you were a pure bolt 
of fire cutting the skies
i’d touch you risking my life
not because i’m brave or strong
but because i’m fascinated
by what the outcome will be