by Nicole Sadek

In Charleston, seafood is our silver. We watch from Red’s Ice House
as pelicans dredge for briny scales in Shem Creek. We speak from
salted tongues and carry clouds of humidity on our shoulders, let our
sand-washed hair and Southern accents flow like Spartina grass on a
summer’s marsh. We are three-story Italianates at the harbor’s edge,
and ghost tours pulled by American standardbreds. We are a sun-
glinted “Calhoun” sign, moppy yellow hair, and cigarette butts tightly
packed between cobblestone roads. We are a medley of Daniel Island,
Mount Pleasant, West Ashley, and Isle of Palms, linked by the
Emmanuel 9 and Highway 17. We are the clogging of horse hooves.
We are the thirteen steps that lead to Drayton Hall, and we are the
superstitious. Limestone and granite are our only markers, those
chapped walls of a Georgian Meeting Street apartment; brick, one-
room quarters, dressed in moss and spider webs, bowing down to
Master’s House; suburban homes at every bend of the Holy City. We
are Rainbow Row, after a drunken sailor’s moonlit expedition,
sweetgrass baskets stacked aside Gullah gumbo, motorcycle accidents
on 526 at rush hour. We are travel magazine royalty, vice-principal
stepping off the bridge. We are slave markets and a bullet-speckled
America Street. We are hand-in-hand on Ravenel Bridge, thinking
Confederate smog, Carolina gold, Walter Scott, gunshots,

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