Bleached Slave| filed under: Poem, Poetry, Prose, Poems
I think I wrote this for a college class, well before this sort of thing might not have been done.
And When she saw him embracing himself for warmth, she moved quickly to heat the water for some tea. The sky was fibrous and giving like burlap and she could smell the decay that settled near Abington only when blood was spilled, and the blood came from this bleached slave, a man with a bull neck, but with the limbs of a gazelle. She knew him as Moose as only the moose shared his build. His lips were full and agitated and they worked together like he was saying something she couldn't hear ‹ and she wanted to hear something besides the sucking of his balloon cheeks.
She made him drink a little from the bowl, then he fell asleep. As she sat next to him, sipping from her cup, she traced the thick dry burn-scabs, as pasty and puffy as Elmer's glue, that appeared to drip down his back and sides, following their furrows until her blunt finger came upon the heavy lashes across the spine. When she touched the deep grooves, bathed in brown medical ointment, he shuddered and rolled onto his stomach and tossed away the light quilt to expose a body that looked to her like marbled steak: an expanse of tight black skin cut by white fatty striations. The air must have cooled him because he finally started to mutter under his breath something both unidentifiable and distinctly human.©3 February 1993 chris abraham