Kevin Young

Kevin Young is the author of seven books of poetry, including “Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels” and “Jelly Roll,” a finalist for the National Book Award. His most recent book, “The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness,” is a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.


    Last’s a long
    year of loss. Now winter
    we hope

    to rename early spring—
    the cardinals keeping
    watch through rain.

    Though the cold
    start your toes
    & find your lonely bones

    soon even those
    can grow.
    And tomorrow

    this smidge of sun—
    shine it down
    into your mouth,

    the fog of breath
    rising, your right
    hand raised! Lift

    this lilting tongue.