Prescience; Maya Angelou


I know I’m really quite late on the Maya Angelou tributes, but I’d not come across this poem before, and it’s too beautiful not to repost.

Prescience by Maya Angelou

Had I known that the heart
breaks slowly, dismantling itself
into unrecognizable plots of misery

Had I known the heart would leak,
slobbering its sap, with a vulgar
visibility, into the dressed-up
dining rooms of strangers,

Had I known that solitude could
stifle the breath, loosen the joint,
and force the tongue against the

Had I known that loneliness could
keloid, winding itself around the
body in an omninous and beautiful

Had I known yet I would have loved
you, your brash and insolent beauty,
your heavy comedic face
and knowledge of sweet delights,

But from a distance
I would have left you whole and wholly
for the delectation of those who
wanted more and cared less

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