An interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the US South and their global connections

 
Nigger Street 1937

McIntosh Street the sign reads
like the apple     red but not
red delicious red     but red
like redeye gravy on grits
at Gus's or red like stoplights
but they're also green and yellow
like apples in Allen's Market
on the corner     and red like
those powders and syrups kept
behind the counter at Doc's
pharmacy     and red like
stoked coals or embers     red
in Sol's forge     red     and red like
the stripe on Richard's barberpole
and the stitching around buttonholes
of overalls of those coming
to town on Saturdays and red
like the three ball     solid red
in the side pocket at the Blue Moon
and red like the eyes of those
late-staying patrons     early
in country churches on Sunday
mornings     and in church the red
of the edge of white pages
in a black bound bible
coming together     closing     red
as the congregation     rises.

 

Published in Blood Ties and Brown Liquor (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008).

Published: 27 February 2009

© 2009 Sean Hill and Southern Spaces