After Schuyler, After Hughes All my sunsets black: All my sunsets black as the trees and the birds and the flowers and all the other things my black eyes see. I paint a bird onto the canvas, and it is the blackest bird there is, black because I say it’s black, black because it’s free, black as blues & jazz & liquor stores & spirituals & sunsets. My sunsets black as the people who praise them. Sunsets that ushered the day-long cookouts into the laughter-saturated dark. Sunsets that told me to get inside before my mother snatched my black behind. Sunsets that warn me it is better that mother snatch me than some danger of the night. Sunsets that my grandmother assures will be greeted by a better day, the black of her hands turning all golden in its dying light. All my sunsets black: Black as taxes and redlining and incarceration and the knowledge that still, still, the light will return for us. My sunsets black as the people who praise them.