With his light skin, my great-grandfather evaded a lynching in Little Rock, AR.
He who does not illuminate monstrous
in cover of night / smuggles a trio
of sons / passed burning poplar / passed snapped neck.
Bundled flesh freight / secluded in burlap
laid across steel truck bed / This fair passage
the weight of witness / Devoid of black-ness
He lives / suffers only death of spirit
Safe arrival to Chicago / he dreams
of hounds at his heel / His blood – betrayal.
His shade of beige / when pressed to flame / fades white.