(1)

obachan standing, bloody
hoe in hand, eyes wide and wet
with fear or victory, four foot
black rat snake, no danger
to anything human,
cut to pieces at her feet.

first time i am scared
of this woman who loves me,
glad the garden tools sleep
outside. i touch the snake’s
lonely head and obachan
snaps in a voice from a different
throat. this moment she is
a mother again, gone the smoothed
corners of age.

she realizes
her ridiculousness: this
unreasonable violence.
the death around her feet
like the start of a garden.

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all pupil

he pulls a gun from the closet
as if it were another household
tool. it is as long as my arm. he wedges
one end into his shoulder, the other
looks like an eye, all pupil. it is a staring
contest. he says bang laughs lowers
the barrel walks into the kitchen.
i can see the thing leaning against
the cabinets while he pours three
fingers of whiskey into the hole
he must have beneath his tongue.
i do not blink.

Spanish Moss and Pink Buildings

Old architecture, windy beaches, springy storefronts, squat palm trees, and expansive marshes = Charleston, South Carolina. Second trip to this lovely coast city, and it is no less alluring on round two. The┬ácity has unbelievable upscale southern cooking, hat shops lined in dark wood, clothing stores situated in old theaters, baring their original brick – full of southern charm.

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