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Palmetto Moon

In Charleston, black folks know ghosts
are always among them on the cobblestone streets,
jaggedly outlined in salt, their shackles rusted.

In Charleston, black children grow
blacker under the southern sun—
ever the watchful eye of all human misdeeds.

In Charleston, white oaks
are not just trees but platforms, shelters,
the bearers of rope.

Standing on the shoreline of the port,
listen, will you, to the gentle waves
that brought the ships in.

by Monet Patrice Thomas

Monet Patrice Thomas wishes she could write long poems that drag you through by the throat, poems that rise and fall and rise again only to drop you with a thud at the end, but instead she writes little jabs to the kidney.

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