Magnolia by Jim Malecky

Proud palmetto, rude totem rotted upright
In boggy mists set ablaze
By malevolent southland ghosts
Remembering the days of their testosterone
Heart ice, in fire unchanged, raging
Hot knife; old pride like cancer spread
Down flaming bones
Through darkest night
Pierced with unquenched wailing
Loss beyond beyond telling
Frigid Magnolia

Southland trickery; history books
Magnolia’s stone-eyed children read
Bugle drum dream boy’s fantasy
Memories badly impede
African lightening clap! Kidnapped
Altered young life. all legal. Chained down sick
Stowed in shrieks and vomit Rolling dark despair
By stone-eyed Magnolia
And documented there by clerks