African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Langston Hughes, "African Dancer in Paris" (1928)

She has a lover far away
   In some palm-covered street
And, more than any other thing
   To her, his lips are sweet.

She dances now in rue Pigalle
   With brown legs bare and slim,—
And every kiss of foreign mouths
   Brings thoughts of him.

Yet when the lights in cabarets
   Are cynical and cold,
She trades a cheaply perfumed love
   For coins of gold.

Published in Carolina Magazine, May 1928

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