“And Don’t Think I Won’t Be Waiting”: Love poems by Audre Lorde

ZP_Solar Abstract_copyright photographer Wilda Gerideau-SquiresZP_Solar Abstract_© photographer Wilda Gerideau-Squires

Audre Lorde (1934 – 1992)



I saw

your hands on my lips like blind needles


from sewing up stone


where are you from

you said

your hands reading over my lips for

some road through uncertain night

for your feet to examine home

where are you from

you said

your hands

on my lips like thunder

promising rain


a land where all lovers are mute.



why are you weeping

you said

your hands in my doorway like rainbows

following rain

why are you weeping?


I am come home.


(1968, revised 1976)

.     .     .

Bridge through My Window”


In curve scooped out and necklaced with light

burst pearls stream down my out-stretched arms to earth.

Oh bridge my sister bless me before I sleep

the wild air is lengthening

and I am tried beyond strength or bearing

over water.


Love, we are both shorelines

a left country

where time suffices

and the right land

where pearls roll into earth and spring up day.

joined, our bodies have passage into one

without merging

as this slim necklace is anchored into night.


And while the we conspires

to make secret its two eyes

we search the other shore

for some crossing home.


(1968, revised 1976)

.     .     .

Conversations in Crisis”


I speak to you as a friend speaks

or a true lover

not out of friendship nor love

but for a clear meeting

of self upon self

in sight of our hearth

but without fire.


I cherish your words that ring

like late summer thunders

to sing without octave

and fade, having spoken the season.

But I hear the false heat of this voice

as it dries up the sides of your words

coaxing melodies from your tongue

and this curled music is treason.


Must I die in your fever –

or, as the flames wax, take cover

in your heart’s culverts

crouched like a stranger

under the scorched leaves of your other burnt loves

until the storm passes over?


(1970, revised 1976)

.     .     .



Coming together

it is easier to work

after our bodies


paper and pen

neither care nor profit

whether we write or not

but as your body moves

under my hands

charged and waiting

we cut the leash

you create me against your thighs

hilly with images

moving through our word countries

my body

writes into your flesh

the poem

you make of me.


Touching you I catch midnight

as moon fires set in my throat

I love you flesh into blossom

I made you

and take you made

into me.



.     .     .

And Don’t Think I Won’t Be Waiting”


I am supposed to say

it doesn’t matter look me up some

time when you’re in my neighbourhood


a drink or some books good talk

a quick dip before lunch –

but I never was one

for losing

what I couldn’t afford

from the beginning

your richness made my heart

burn like a roman candle.


Now I don’t mind

your hand on my face like fire

like a slap

turned inside out

quick as a caress

but I’m warning you

this time

you will not slip away

under a covering cloud

of my tears.



.     .     .     .     .