Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

The following poems or versions of these poems have appeared in: A Gathering of the Tribes ("Once Upon A Time"); African Voices ("Collard Folk"); Beyond the Frontier ("In Search of Aunt Jemima"); Catch the Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology of African American Poets ("In Search of Aunt Jemima"); Icarus...

rhythm

For the Woman Who Didn’t Know My Name

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p. 1

music: one

The Famous Door

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p. 5

Prayer

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pp. 6-7

The Masked Woman

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pp. 8-9

At 25, I Have Already Begun to Like Lou Rawls

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pp. 10-11

Yea, Though I Walk

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pp. 12-13

Order of Adoption in the Matter of Minor #44478

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pp. 14-15

music: two

Rites of Passage

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pp. 19-20

Poem for My Sisters

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p. 21

A,

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pp. 22-23

Hey A, (Mr. Sausage Lips)

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pp. 24-25

Johnny

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pp. 26-27

Dreadlock

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p. 28

Exercise in Tension or Truth or Whatever

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pp. 29-30

“The Cholesterol Can Make You Stupid”

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p. 31

Collard Folk

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pp. 32-33

dance

Dr

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pp. 37-38

Benjamin

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pp. 39-40

The Prospect of Tomi-Terre

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pp. 41-42

Curating the Boogie Down

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pp. 43-44

Tour Guiding Our Nation’s Capital

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p. 45

Sunday Dinner at Miss Rayella’s

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pp. 46-47

Tower

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p. 48

“It Wasn’t Not Funny”

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pp. 49-50

Refrigerator Mouth

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p. 51

As On Every Saturday at 12

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pp. 52-53

John Edgar Wideman, Apologies

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pp. 54-55

The First Time I Saw Flo-Jo

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pp. 56-57

Once Upon a Time

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pp. 58-61

Nora

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p. 62

Zawadi

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pp. 63-64

oo-bop-she-bam

In Search of Aunt Jemima

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pp. 67-69

Ode of the Hoodoo Woman

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pp. 70-73

Breeze Driftin’ On By

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pp. 74-75

Notes

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p. 76

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About the Author

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p. 77

Crystal Williams, a native of Detroit, Michigan, holds a B.A. from NYU and a M.F.A. from Cornell University. Her work has been published in journals/anthologies such as Icarus, The Potomac Review, Spectrum, WV, American Poetry: The Next Generation, Catch the Fire, Poetry Nation, and Children of the Dream. She was a member of the 1995...