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  • This Murdered Earth, and: Haiku
  • David Mills (bio)

This Murdered Earth

After the Sweet Briar College Plantation Burial Ground

Sweet Briar, Virginia

It opens out into emptinessA paradise of trees bereft of leaves.A tattered pink ribbon—frayed scarf arounda rusted rod. A wooden stake—a numb-er 17 atop it—leveled now.Even in death the ancestors are notallowed to claim this murdered earth. Aftera day’s long, hard light in the cemetery,

I almost spit but swallowed it and heldthe piddle born inside my kidneys. Forcedmy body’s brewery to honor the gone.A branch sneezes beneath me. Three turkeyvultures row the inverted ocean. These words:a prayer, a briary sky punctures, frays.


After like the singing coming off the drums,
I am a carnival of stars

—Sonia Sanchez

Gave you my shoes soyou could blister with a day’sworth of my walking

                                            The sun didn’t set                                            that was just the sky donning                                            a dark sombrero

A day of dreamingrubbing up against an eve-ning’s pink emptiness

                                            There’s a Harlem bake                                            ry decorated by the                                            warmth of your hello. [End Page 446]

David Mills

David Mills is the author of the Small Press bestseller The Dream Detective (2009). His work has appeared in Fence, jubilat, Callaloo, Black Renaissance Noir, and aspeers.



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