NYU Black Renaissance Noire Winter 2014 - Page 113

THE BEAUTY OF THE WORLD It was Virgil’s Aeneas who I loved, whose devotion moved me when he fled Troy holding his son’s hand & carrying his father. On the train from Brindisi to Rome, they were the three I thought of as the cars moved us through our wherelessness, I who thought I’d mastered this, I who only left & left, & knew that I would not, in this world, be Aeneas, & mourned my lack of presence & character, & love, that I had only ever carried my own head, & into the other country, I who defended the beauties of darkness (my worlds!) in the grey, official halls of School while my faces flashed with sorrow & rage, I who started clear then, shamed, learned to see home with an other-eye, I who thought I could not love both Virgil & Lumumba, who secretly walked with my flowers for them. But it was grief I carried all along. & it was love for my fathers, in the country of Not-Love, which caused me grief, & grief I carried instead of love. Outside, the sunflower fields — ploughed & harrowed — said something to me about forgiveness. Flower, forgive me. Forgive me for the grief I held instead of what I might have held. 111 BLACK RENAISSANCE NOI $P