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.
DéLana R. A. Dameron
You might say fear is a predictable emotion & I might agree. Whenever my husband leaves for his graveyard shift, when he prepares to walk out into the abyss of black sky, I am afraid tonight will be the night I become a widow. I don't want to love like this. But here we are: walking hand in hand in our parkas down the avenues & he pulls away from me. I might be in some dreamy place, thinking of the roast chicken we just had, the coconut peas & rice he just cooked, & how the food has filled our bellies with delight. How many times can I speak about black men & an officer enters the scene? I don't want to love like this. But there is a gun in the holster & a hand on the gun in the holster & my husband's hands are no longer in his pockets because it is night & we are just trying to breathe in some fresh evening air, trying to be unpredictable, to forget fear for a moment & live in love & love.