Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-11

Contents

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pp. 12-15

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-19

Every book I’ve ever written has found its way to its paper surface by way of the breath of the dead and the hands of the living. A long curtsy, crisp bow, and standing ovation to the Northwestern University Press team, Parneshia Jones, Marianne Jankowski, Jenny Gavacs, Serena Brommel, and other names I wish I knew to call; your brilliant, hard work ...

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Resurrection of the Errand Girl: An Introduction

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pp. 3-4

The girl is sent for dinner fish. Inside the market she fills her aluminum bowl with ice-blue mackerel and mullet, according to her mother’s instruction. The fishmonger standing there, blood on his apron, whale knife in hand, asks, Head off and split? Translation: Do away with the watery gray eyes, the impolite razor-sharp fins, the succulent heart, tender roe, delicate sweet bones? ...

The Hard · Headed

Red Velvet

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pp. 7-12

Left

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pp. 13-16

My Time Up with You

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pp. 17-22

Plunder

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pp. 23-32

The Condoleezza Suite

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pp. 33-40

The Head · over · Heels

Thunderbolt of Jove

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pp. 43-45

The Aureole

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pp. 46-47

Shaker: Wilma Rudolph Appears While Riding the Althea Gibson Highway Home

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pp. 48-49

Cattails

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pp. 50-51

Heirloom

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pp. 52-53

Orangerie

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pp. 54-55

The Clitoris

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pp. 56-57

Brown Girl Levitation, 1962–1989

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pp. 58-59

The Head · Waters

Dancing with Strom

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pp. 63-68

Segregation, Forever

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pp. 69-71

Negroes with Guns

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pp. 72-75

Hash Marks

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pp. 76-93

Men Who Give Milk I

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pp. 77-79

Alice Butler

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pp. 80-81

Penguin, Mullet, Bread

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pp. 82-84

Liberty Street Seafood

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pp. 85-87

Head Off & Split

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pp. 88-94

Instruction, Final: To Brown Poets from Black Girl with Silver Leica

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pp. 97-114