Growing up jazz…

With the soulful tragedy

of the blues

And the decadence of

the symphony

Hand-me-downed

Holy shoes

Gourmet meals

On a Coleman Stove

No lights or heat

Water or phone

Beautiful artistry

By candlelight shone

I grew up jazz

Days punctuated by

Violent syncopations

Drunken confrontations

Staggering gesticulations

Against shelves of books

Ebony encyclopedias

African histories

Next to Hemingway

And Elijah’s lessons

On how to eat to live

Coltrane plays…

Days bruised blue

And tears make rain

Smile away the pain

Taj Mahal sangs

Hunger pangs

Proudest shame

A masquerade

A game?

Nah, Jazz is my name.

A.Mixon, 2018

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