Echoes of your unblemished skin
Could never dessert history,
Only augment the contemporary

Noise of your transcendent legacy
Deafens all comparisons
Mutes all aspirants

Tapestries of cornrows, basalt tendrils
Ivory-paintings of your skin, her olive glow
Trademarked with your name

Your beauty is like a lethal asp
Poisoning the many pretenders
– Vivienne, Claudette, Liz or Sophia –
Incarnations of you

And in this boundless dominion of a gender’
Perfection can only be exiled
On your island

Where Julius and Mark were once castaways,


In your physiognomy.