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Kimberly Colbert


Kimberly Colbert

You need to pick your afro daddy
Because it’s flat on one side
You need to pick your afro daddy
Because it’s flat on one side
Well, if you don’t pick your afro
You’re gonna have one side high

Afro by Erykah Badu

1959 Girls

Gimmie that bell-bottom-afro-puff-lime-green-polyester suit-platform shoe music
I want a beat
with heavy bottom
wa-wa guitar
and real horns
that move side to side in funky unison

Take it to the bridge with a thumb slap

Don’t play me no metrosexual crossover sweet-drink-in-a-pretty-glass-so-I- can-hold-my-pinkie-up tune
I want Funk so stank you can smell
the thick blue cloud
swaddling bare light bulb
at basement party
locked embrace in a slow drag
falsetto beggin’ hard
crocodile tears fall to
deep bass love ballad

You’ve come to know a love of your own

’59 girls
grow up in Parliament Funkadelic-Soul Train age
do the bump to Kool and the Gang, Ohio Players
Sugarfoot with tipped afro
playin’ loud on transistor radio AM
sets us on Fire

Turn the dial to get the fuzz out

EWF tells us that’s the way of the world
“Gansta” means driving a deuce and a quarter
diamond in the back, sunroof top, diggin the scene. . .

Fo’ the love of money

’59 girls
fantasize over Michael-Marlon-Tito-Jermaine and Jackie
jam to three inches of shiny, black wax
stacked precariously with yellow and red plastic inserts
on a portable turntable

The love you save may be your own

’59 girls
come of age at tail end of Model Cities
after riots
urban blight and white flight
are the order of the day

’59 girls
daughters of the nouveau middle class
Langston Hughes’ dream motif
bussed to cure the disease of
defacto segregation
don’t mess up
parents will beat yo’ ass over some bad grades

’59 girls
beautiful but never knew it
first to sport cornrows
yet called Black Bo Derek
first to have mahogany, coco and café au lait
makeup and pantyhose
greeting cards with familiar faces
that recited our poetry

’59 girls
watched locked doors open
and entered
heads held high
to shoulder the weight of buckets
bearing the happy tears of our ancestors


’59 girls
reverberate the fading sound of the baby boom
no longer the New Generation
now the parents
some the grandparents
in a world
where imagination good and bad
has become reality

Happy birthday
Happy birth day ’59 girls
Enter this new age with
Keep holding your heads high
To a new beat