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Southern Spaces
A journal about real and imagined spaces and places of the US South and their global connections

I. Atlanta

The black men
are fine
and abundant
at the airport.
The women
have spent
many hours
on their hair.

II. Sixty-Five MPH

All-u-can eat,
boiled shrimp, fried fish.

Highway Church of God:
"You come in here and pray."

Roadkill, and blackbirds
that pick at it,

Chain gangs, and fat scarlet clover
in rippling flocks —

a North Georgia spring,
a spreading rash, blush.

III. Kin: Sparta, Georgia

Great-Aunt Kate
calls it "the dry grin,"
what white people give you
when they want you to think
you are safe
when you're not.

IIII. Green

How you would love
the pale green trees,
the sheer chartreuse light,
the swallowing kudzu,
the mammoth dogwoods,
the Christmas tree farm.


Published in Antebellum Dream Book (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2001).

Published: 10 December 2009
© 2009 Elizabeth Alexander and Southern Spaces