for Langston Hughes
In an era
when high yella dandies
were all ladies’ men,
in the open
and being a man’s man
meant something different,
I wonder if well-put-together,
well-read, well-spoken,
and well-traveled
was enough camouflage
to shield you from additional
and disdain.
Dear Langston,
I hope you were as loved
in the dark
as John Brown was
feared in the light?
His good Lord
wanted us unshackled.
yours   wanted all of us