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37 Script You can’t pick enough cotton to crawl your way out the hole your well-deep belly and that of your litter done dig for you. Pricking each payment in the black-bound ledger, God, red-eyed and with a cavernous mouth, breasts that sag and a gut like at sixty she could be pregnant again with another messiah, tells you about the grace she’s been meting out to you to keep you through the winter. This earth is your prison. Your cotton floats into a hole. The train howls “Chicago!” How to escape this heaven of mercy, grace and trust. When your Daddy died, they called in the eldest son, all twelve years old of him, told him what he owed, set him to toil so he could taste the grace of their monthly ciphering. 38 You can’t pick enough cotton to crawl your way out the hole, your long-bellied, nigger self done dug all these centuries, and God saying, “My grace is sufficient,” while the train howls, “Chicago!” ...

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