Empress of the Blues


Romare Bearden, Empress of the Blues, 1974

She is the empress with the cumulus breasts and the Tennessee hips that sway and weep with the drum beat. A drop of sweat drips down her lip, a salty blue pearl that catches the shadow. She salutes the pops and the trills darting through the rising smoke. The warm rush and fiery bite of the trumpets weld her a rubied crown. She is the empress of the blues. But even still there is some sad honey sleep in her voice. Do you hear the alpha and the omega in that one sweet honey note? Taste the soul in her song like licorice melting on your tongue. And while you listen still, she builds her throne with f# minor armrests and a four quarter beat back, a seat of gilded b flats and a foot stool sewn from down beats. Royal constructions by the empress of the blues.