for Moses's black wife

Zipporah I love you, he would say,
I never wish to return

you are beautiful
as the faults on your brow
that appear when our children drop commandments

nothing is more holy. but my people wither
their fair skin crackling in the Egyptian heat
their hair curling sweaty by their ears
how can I return

my people are a slave people
who eat crackers and play with snakes
how can I return to such ugly

when there is so much beauty here
so much blackness and freedom

how can I return when I know this now
how can I conceive of anything else

About the Poet

Aaron Levy Samuels, raised in a Black-Jewish household in Providence Rhode Island, is an award-winning poet, educator, and community organizer. Aaron has competed on performance poetry teams for the last six years, consistently ranking among the top teams in the youth, collegiate, and national competitions. He has served as a coach for the Providence, Washington DC, and Boston Youth Poetry teams. In addition, Aaron was the founder and coach for the Washington University collegiate and adult teams. As an educator, Aaron stresses the urgency for cross-cultural dialogue, teaching writing workshops at middle schools, high schools, colleges, and community organizations across the country.