To free yourself of the haint,
you need to vanquish it.
Paint your porch
the color of water
which is power,
with the might to scatter
blue light to the green
of seawater. But remember
how heavy color can be.
How shades of blue
came from true indigo,
which needed an abundance
of water and limestone
above the bedrock before
it became a cash crop,
which needed to be pounded
and crushed, and dusted
with wood ash to make
blue cakes, which was the currency
of slavery: a bolt of cloth
dyed indigo for one human body.
But mixed with lime and some
white mineral, it resembled water
which haints could not cross over.

Copyright © 2020 by Aileen Cassinetto. This poem originally appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, June 2020. Used with permission of the author.