we said Satan, get thee behind
and I always laughed. A demon child
with a twisted mouth,
at supper time I refused meat
to suck on bones. In the alley
behind the house what grew besides
berries I was told not to touch? I licked
the blood at the root. A bitter crop,
I came screaming—never tell me
to be quiet again. I know what life
the wind sucks, but what hits harder
than a hungry hand scorn by
a gallant South? I want it to try me.
Trust me, you’ve never felt a mouth
this sweet. This thorny. They said,
Somebody put sugar in his tank,
I thought myself an army.
Commander, when I tell you to
fuck me, I don’t mean
for your tree to drop in a spirit-filled
chamber of burning flesh.
I mean grow a thicker root. I mean
to say: crow, pluck me. Too much
sweetness can kill you and this
plantation can never be too used.
In the end I will have you
hung up, trapped in my Southern breeze.