Cane Trash

Promethean nigger man,
chained to this chain of particular thought
and tongue, turns to ash in Ste Madeleine.

Light sepia
grin, still as photographs, lies—a bronze face dims, blacker.

What drives the cutlass lies entrenched
in vacant eyes.

Some choose land, taking fire for water.

We, too, have learned to swallow spirits,
have eaten sand and salt and held
no great contempt for the motion of grass, for
Usine’s sugared dust sweetening
embittered words.

Madeleine is the patron Sainte
of cane-cutters.

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