Malcolm In Cairo

Malcolm In Cairo

Cast from Elijah's idling ship,

(Sails fraying from envy --
Creation's oldest storm)

You are now, like Johnny Hodges
in the early 1950s, a solo act.

You even have a small, white following.

Two unsmiling men with cameras,
trailing you on the crowded streets;

Uncle Sam's shadow, you chuckle to yourself,
is even wider than the pinstripes on his slacks.

You film them, fellow Muslims,
the weathered, majestic Sphinx.

The agents wait outside the mosque --
Where, when salat begins --

Arabic prayers,
Body facing East,

Forehead down
like a ballad tempo,

You are lost as a third-tier saxophonist
at an Ellington audition.

But thanks be to Allah,
these soul songs will come in time.

Reuben Jackson
12/26/02 © copyright

[["im sending this because of its musical references to malcolm x's pre-conversion past . . . happy . . . happy" . . . rj]]

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