Fuss, fight, and cutting the huckley-buck—Dear Malindy,
Underground, must I always return to the country of the dead,
To the coons catting about in the trees, the North Carolina pines
Chattering about sweetening bodies in their green whirring?
Do these letters predict my death—some sound of a twig
Breaking then a constant drowning—a butter bean drying
Beneath my nails? Casket, rascal, and corn bread cooling board.
Dear Malindy, when the muskrats fight in the swamp I knows
It’s you causing my skull to rattle. You predicted my death
With my own baby teeth and a rancid moon beneath our legs.
No girl, my arm still here. The antlers on the mantle yet quiet.
All the ocean’s water without me and yet in me. Never mind,
Malindy. They already shot the black boy on the road for dying
Without their permission. Yes, gal, I put on my nice suit. And wait.