📬 Want some Southern goodness in your inbox every Friday?
Get Scalawag's latest stories and a run down of what's happening across the South with our weekly newsletter.
How long is long enough?
- 15 at a fish restaurant
old man who I serve
sees to break me before
he breaks into his meal.
His knife skis through the fillet
as easily as he says: spic.
He is a relic, a monument
people will keep propped up,
swear will die someday,
one day or one day
I will break a statue
- Badges look like stars
on John Wayne's breast
sorry Sheriff, you ain't
my hero no more.
after a mouthful of dirt
you forget how the sky tastes.
- Brown faces believing in imaginary numbers.
Edward James Olmos covered in chalk—
I remember wondering how long or how far infinity was and what dreams
looked like on the other side of it.
4. My boss at Burger King hates Spanish speakers.
He's the third boss I've had make the point to tell me.
- In what I think is the basement
or the boiler room
is the classroom saw dust and children
The teacher calls us wet, dark names
pet names or names she cackles at—
we miss the joke. Perhaps,
we're too small to
know what's funny but
we miss our last teacher. The one
whose name sounded big like ours.
- You're thirty-four-years-old and your television
is a blood splatter. One network
swears you're overreacting, tells you your fears
are plastic skeletons; another network screams
you're in danger, always.
You don't want to bring children to bear this world:
plastic skeletons or not, they're bloody; they're scary as shit.
They're all you've known.
7. I can go on forever.