His (A Cento)

With snippets from And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou (1986) reassembled with love by Jen Hughes on a late Thursday night in February 2016.


I was once a sinner man

No angel promised

Sorry eyes spoke not

My long nights lone

An empty bed. But persecuting

Private childhood secrets

Some blues I’ve had

Falling down on me like rain.


I met a Lady Poet

Too sentimental, and much too gentle

Someone to care

Exchanging dreams with

For fear of flying

Taking my chances in a dangerous world

I don’t tremble in your arms

Then can I greedily consume

Your laughter brave?


In golden riot. Each day is

Going some place

On other worlds some

Masterchart of old ideas erased. The

Tender evening poignancies of

Love linger between

Your hands

Lay stretching until the dawn

And grinning still.

How long will

I hear again the laughter?

Those sweet excesses that

Screams, races my heart?

You, your brash insolent beauty

Brightening my days with the light in your eyes

Lying in green grass

But until I see you

Let me humbly say

I’ve never been so strong.

Part 1 of a pair of centos, originally published on Adjacent Pineapple. Read part 2 "Hers" here.

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