The School of Beauty’s a tavern now.
The Madam is underground.
Out at Lincoln, among the graves
Her own is early found.
Where the thickest, tallest monument
Cuts grandly into the air
The Madam lies, contentedly.
Her fortune, too, lies there,
Converted into cool hard steel
And bright red velvet lining;
While over her tan impassivity
Shot silk is shining.
From A Street in Bronzeville (1945)
Chicago's South Side, 1970. Photography by Robert Sengstacke, courtesy of The Sengstacke Archive at The University of Chicago Visual Resources Center.