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Recorded as part of the Poem-a-Day series, October 9, 2015
About this Poem 

“‘Hurricane Song’ is an outtake from my book Jelly Roll: A Blues. A series of such bonus tracks are included in my new book Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015, due out in February of 2016.”
Kevin Young

Hurricane Song

Lady, won’t you wait
out the hurricane

all night at my place—
we’ll take cover like

the lamps & I’ll
let you oil

my scalp. Please, I needs
a good woman’s hands

caught in my hair, turning
my knots to butter.

All night we’ll churn.
Dawn

will lean in too soon—
you’ll leave out into

the wet world, winded
& alone, knowing

the me only
midnight sees.

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin Young. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 9, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin Young. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 9, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Kevin Young

Kevin Young

Kevin Young's poetry collections include Brown, forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf in April 2018 and Book of Hours (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014), winner of the 2015 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. 

by this poet

poem

You, rare as Georgia
snow. Falling

hard. Quick.
Candle shadow.

             The cold
spell that catches

us by surprise.
The too-early blooms,

tricked, gardenias blown about,
circling wind. Green figs.

   Nothing stays. I want
to watch you walk

the

poem
There are gods
    of fertility,
corn, childbirth,

& police
    brutality—this last
is offered praise

& sacrifice
    near weekly
& still cannot

be sated—many-limbed,
    thin-skinned,
its colors are blue

& black, a cross-
    hatch of bruise
& bulletholes

punched out
    like my son’s
2
poem
The honey bees’ exile
     is almost complete.
You can carry

them from hive
     to hive, the child thought
& that is what

he tried, walking
     with them thronging
between his pressed palms.

Let him be right.
     Let the gods look away
as always. Let this boy

who carries the entire
     actual,