Socco and the Color Blind Blues

by Pam Pastorino

The first time we meet
he swings me off my feet
in a crazy dance that
makes me know him.
Socco locks his charcoal gray hair
in dreds fat down his back.
He shows me a purple and yellow street poster
hawking a decades-old concert:
Socco Blues Band with
Bob Marley and The Wailers.
He improvises lyrics,
makes up words, sexy and raw, driving the band, and the crowd
into a frenzy of sexual revolution.
But no doctors groove on this scene
until it's too late, and Socco turns to flush
and the blood is in the bowl.
In his wake his brothers raise their rowdy gospel,
his sisters bawl their hallelujahs and amens.
We sit white, adrift amidst a cacophony
of multitudinous umber souls
in a cavernous black baptist church,
and my little whiteboy weeps
for his dead Uncle Socco.
A little pale face, bowl-cut blonde,
keening his color blind blues.

Socco and the Color Blind Blues by Pam Pastorino

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