Black Boys Play the Classics by Toi Derricotte

The most popular “act” in
Penn Station
is the three black kids in ratty
sneakers & T-shirts playing
two violins and a cello—Brahms. 
White men in business suits
have already dug into their pockets
as they pass and they toss in
a dollar or two without stopping. 
Brown men in work-soiled khakis
stand with their mouths open, 
arms crossed on their bellies
as if they themselves have always
wanted to attempt those bars. 
One white boy, three, sits
cross-legged in front of his
idols—in ecstasy— 
their slick, dark faces, 
their thin, wiry arms, 
who must begin to look
like angels! 
Why does this trembling
pull us? 
A: Beneath the surface we are one. 
B: Amazing! I did not think that they could speak this tongue.