“On the Flyleaf of C.K.W.’s Selected Poems” by Herbert Woodward Martin

Herbert Woodward Martin


When a man dies he doesn’t have to wipe his ass anymore,
Nor does he have to loosen those last drops of urine from
His penis; it is all over, except the bathing and dressing
Which is left to the undertakers in North America. Every
Where else you are quickly buried in what you have on.
Black people think of it as being “Dressed to Kill.”
It means you have simply stepped out of a bandbox,
That Messers Gucci and Saint Laurent along with
Ms. Chanel have themselves dressed you live, well,
Kicking and smelling as fresh and delightfully wintry,
Without their ever imagining the journey they have
So successfully prepared you for.

from Rattle #31, Summer 2009
Tribute to African American Poets

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