- This Murdered Earth, and: Haiku
This Murdered Earth
After the Sweet Briar College Plantation Burial GroundSweet 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 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.