(Not) For Sale
For sale: Mary Sambo. Scarcely whipped.
To the gentleman in the hat.
Ironmaster. Horse, three shillings. Slave, two.
Welcome to Darkwater. Population
White cotton sheets, remove blood stains.
Three miles away. Returned under guard.
Run. Six lashes. The rest watch.
Not try to move until healed.
Light duty only. Standing or sitting.
No clanking ghost! Leg irons.
Lift your skirt. Let him see.
Out her teeth. Bitch bit me.
Get the boys. All of them.
Over the barrel, tie her down.
You’re done. Step away. Next man!
Use the wrench. Get every fang.
Tooth fragments. Liquid diet from now.
Healing slowly. Light exercise might help.
White cotton dress, mend rips, tears.
And gonorrhea. Consider testing your wife.
She gone. Pick roots inna swamp.
Get far. Hounds have her scent.
Child. Mama Gizou knows you. Come.
Child in your belly. You must.
Cannot be sold, may be given.
Maintain discipline. Three days is unacceptable.
While there’s light. Full moon tonight.
Something in the fields. Call the.
Out. Bolt the door behind me.
Ripped the big buck in two!
Rebellion? No Ma’am. Worse. Sins returned.
Useless gun, drew his sword. Stabbed.
Rent in the furry belly. Pulled.
Pinned him. Squatted on her haunches.
Hips broken. Manhood torn away. Alive.
Hear? Like a dog or cat.
Hold me. Your husband. Damn him.
Pendulous shaggy breasts. The cannon thundered.
Soggy newsprint headline. Slave rebellion quelled.
Yet. You owe Mama. Come back.
The swamp. A witchlight, they say.
Rattle of chains. Closer, every night.
Southern Flower, we lay to rest.
Cursed cotton grows. Watered with blood.
Unmarked graves. Slave cemetery, looks like.
Desist all development of this historical site.
Haunted Plantation tour if you are pregnant.
Is it? The Baby kicked me!
My room. She was standing there.
Mama died a hundred years ago.
Full Moon is three nights away.
Returned? She never left Darkwater, child.
Gate of the Unborn. Iä! Iä! Shub-
Sucked air. Howled. Her stomach rippled.
Beautiful puppies! Purebred? Mixed. How much?
Sale. Free to a good home.