Rural by Jessica Hite

rural.

dirt roads.

redder than the bleed

that spilled to make them.

 

rural.

glistening dark skin

pressed against

rich, white cotton.

 

rural.

sunday picnic baskets

the finest leisure day clothes

black bodies drifting

in the summer breeze.

 

rural.

an orange rolled

every morning

by withered, black hands.

a sweetness to cast off

the sour of sickness.

 

rural.

too many mouths,

not enough chicken

or eggs or vegetables.

only cents, instead of dollars

the living not shared—

only cropped.

 

rural.

anywhere but here.

pack up and head north;

where nigger is negro.

still bitter and stinging,

but manageable.

 

 

rural.

long car rides

to grandmother’s house.

ten kids to two rooms,

but we complain about six.

 

rural.

still dirt roads.

strange fruit has

rotted to the ground.

now bullets chase

black bodies

along with the summer breeze.

– Jessica Hite