Thursday, June 30, 2011

Paris, Texas (1954)

Image borrowed from Bing

Paris, Texas (1954)

White faces spring
from the crowd:
dandelions in the front lawn.

Ropes so tight I can
feel flies prowl fibers.
Their legs a twisted frenzy.

Police uniforms in flies'
eyes, floating like fish
breath from the river's

bottom, so I stay down,
crumbs. Someone near

hawks soda and beer
to white people splitting ribs,
arms against the platform's

splintering wood.
Nose mashed into lip,
unforgiving as the sticks

and fists spilling
over my face. "You
won't be touching
another white woman."

A dirty child, dirty yellow hair,
perched on her father's shoulders.

She licks a cone wet
with sugar diamonds,
ice cream dripping
father's shirt sleeve.

"Let me have five
minutes with that black
son of a bitch."

Re-routed trains
bloating the sweaty crowd.

Some women curses my ape
mother. Sheriff pulls a knife.

He cuts my arm.
My skin,
the slow fire.

around the break. My arm.

The hangman:
"Nigger, you're gonna die slow."

The man cuts my chest.

My heart beating,
hanging outside.
He starts sawing.

Pieces of skin in strips of bacon.

Adrian Matejka


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