Southern Impression by Cynthia Manick

 

Once in a cup
of pressed strawberries
covered in cold
well-water, I saw
minor galaxies
and hieroglyphics.
One contained
pomade
from my grandfather’s
shop-
the smell
of tipped hats
and a greasy ring
strong
enough
to jump-
start
your left
ventricle.
His wife my grandmother
yelling
about God-
how he made
streets
with no stop
lights
just the cross ings
of brown
bodies,
crocodiles
and trash
before burning.

 

CYNTHIA MANICK is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). Her work has been published by the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day Series, African American Review, Bone Bouquet, Callaloo, Kweli Journal, Muzzle Magazine, Tidal Basin, Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She currently resides in Brooklyn.