The Color Purple Rain: An Elegy & Ode
BY KAMILAH AISHA MOON
We all know that losing & loss begets devotion—
Prince has risen. Alice is an elder; we age & falter.
All of his purple life, he showed us how sinners coo
like angels & saviors wail like electric guitar solos
at once. All of hers she had to fight, write for us
in painstaking detail the difficulty of parsing,
telling it all apart. Speak, Lord, through art!
Dearly Beloved, God been forever trying to tell us
something! A prayer: royal & right as rain, may cycles
of abuse shatter on pavement, not seep into soil
as rivals jam their way to truces, earn
forgiveness as old men. Let the lovers
un-ball their fists, juke & slow drag
until dawn pries them apart
to put on coffee, one more day to finesse
how to love without catching hands
or burning it all down. Let the lovers
we would die for rescue us on the back
of their bikes, holding tight to their waists.
Let Shug serenade Apollonia while Celie samples
the pleasures of a petal-soft man. Give
the sisters back their tear-stained letters,
Sofia back her sass & good eye. Welcome
long-lost children home with new language
in their mouths! Somewhere warm & not alone,
The Kid will never be like his mother
or his father; the step-dad’s sick urges will die
long before his heart bursts mid-stroke so
another girl won’t have to heal into a woman,
recover herself to thrive—hallelujah! Hear me, Lord!
Let Morris Day & The Time, Harpo &
The Revolution play harmonicas, flap their arms
until wings grow, almost stealing the show!
Let The Kid’s spirit guide us all, Mister
& his pappy too, through lavender fields—
only see us laughing, we are the stars.