Early Afternoon, Wednesday, October 1, 1919: Lonnie And Other White Men Walk The Streets Of Elaine Before Heading North Into The Cotton Rows Of More Killing Fields.


Speculation runs dry as a blanch bone,

For death had come here, to this place,

With no advance notice – just like heavy

Storms out of the west fall from above,

Lead weight to crush us or dumb earth.

The streets catching black bodies bound

To the dust and riddled here and there,

Left to the trinket-takers – token ears

Slashed loose, fingers, toes removed;


Keepsakes for home to make stories

Last, even flash: “I was there in Elaine,”

They’ll bray, “when others shuddered

Like leaves at a coming of black fury

To the front door. I was there,” they’ll

Spew – chilled air in rancid times, none

Won, just preserved. I walk dead among  

The street dead in Elaine, while I hear

My name called, “Lonnie?” Lone passage?


The dead do speak: words unheard once

Before if I care to listen. We move north

Without inflection; we simply move to

Overtake land and a black other, hiding

Under the sun, underneath the terror we

Wish to reveal without panic or qualm,

A man gaining control of his claims, his

Careful inclusion, his worth. Here, one

Part of us severed from the rest, deemed.