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

To a Brown Boy by Countee Cullen

That brown girl's swagger gives a twitch
   To beauty like a queen;
Lad, never dam your body's itch
   When loveliness is seen.

For there is ample room for bliss
   In pride in clean, brown limbs,
And lips know better how to kiss
   Than how to raise white hymns.

And when your body's death gives birth
   To soil for spring to crown,
Men will not ask if that rare earth
   Was white flesh once, or brown.

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