In a Daydream of Being the Big House Missus

I rocked in a chair of charred Grand Dragon’s bones,
legs silent as molasses drooling from a cloud of linen.

My fat white maid in her potholder hat
did not watch me watch her sons

molt like dandelions in la-di-da noon
standing squarely on the blacks of their own shadows as they willed.

She crushed lemons in her bear claw fists
and pushed a sugar dust around the pitcher.

The mister started in on the mare,
phantasm of a centaur where it splinters.

Three latticed glasses harmonized on the platter:

my quiet kindness to the albess
for where I sent her daughter.

It was Saturday. There was salt in his seams
and the slip between my knees slumped with heat

and sheets jedidiah-teething the clothesline already.
Followed hours full of our trying to be full of each other

and sunlight yearning like egg white through
the cracked curtains

and the usual evidence of bluegrass his shoulders shed
beneath my nails, the rooms in me he could not enter

branching annexes: my elderberry privacies.
Out of the yard’s farthest hem, darkness

from the world’s first days braided into the tobacco

and I could only imagine tomorrow
if I expected to be slaughtered in my sleep.

Justin Phillip Reed, "In a Daydream of Being the Big House Missus.” Copyright © 2019 by Justin Phillip Reed. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow.
Source: PoetryNow (2019)
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