Paint your lips

A deeper red

Brush the color,

Cover the bruise

One more time,

One more night

Beloved, you huddle in the

Immodest clothes on the corner

Of these cold streets

Beloved, you allow another

To desecrate you body

For petty cash

That must be given

To the hand of another

Beloved, you've promised

You've told me that

You'd leave, that this would end

Beloved, how long?

Beloved, I've seen it in my mind

Time and time again

You speak up for yourself,

He strikes you

And does not stop

Beloved, this long-awaited

Morn has come

But my arms are empty still

Beloved, you're a statistic

Of urban violence,

Now made an example

For the other girls

I stand by your headstone

And look down at the wet

Lawn, the water falling still

Beloved, you promised me,

One more time,

One more night

For standing on this

Lawn, tears streaming

Down my cheeks

I remember what it was

Like to hold you as you

Bled and cried

But kneeling here,

Weeping and bleeding inside

From no physical wound

And I remember

The look on

Our child's face

As she slept in

Blissful ignorance

Of her mother's death

But as the wind picks up

I feel the familiar weight

Of your arms about me

As you hold me near as

You wait for me as

I've waited so long

For you,

Waiting, ever watching

In this damp cemetery