Jean Toomer's "Cane" (1923)

Portrait in Georgia

(First published in Modern Review 1, January 1923)

Hair — braided chestnut,
coiled like a lyncher’s rope,
Eyes — fagots,
Lips — old scars, or the first red blisters,
Breath — the last sweet scent of cane,
And her slim body, white as the ash
of black flesh after flame.

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