Death Comes for James Baldwin

On the day James Baldwin died his friend by his side

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Death Comes for James Baldwin

He said I saw her picture

Her picture on the wall

I gave him a straw, a straw

He could swallow no more

He could swallow no more

His throat was dry

Dry as Death Valley floor

He could swallow, swallow no more

He stared at the picture

Was there Light in her eye

Or was it dark, was it black

Was it black, what he saw

He said I remember, I remember

What it was like before…before

Was it dark    was it black

Was it black    what he saw

Was he thinking of Pine

Was he thinking of Beale Street

Was he riding the Culver

Or the West End Line

Did he see a Tower of Gold

Did he see the Morning Star

Was he opening    opening

Was he closing the door

Did he see Martin

Did he see Malcolm

Did he see Moses

At the door

Was the bush burning

Was his tongue on fire

Was The Law given    was The Law taken

As he went out the door

He looked out at the mountain

Did the Dungeon shake

Was it Jacob’s Ladder

That he saw

Was there a flame

A flame rising

A wall of fire

That he saw

Was there Another Country

A Tower of Gold

An Anointed Vessel

That he saw

Did he hear thunder

Was he lost

Was he found

Was there Light    upon the wall

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