B. J.

B. J.

Some things cain’t
be said
till people are

dead, and some
must be
good and dead.

Like Uncle B. J.
—God rest
his soul in whatever

hole it finally
found. My
mama’s brother—fat,

short, big-talking,
and bald.
Fond of fucking women

by eye if he
fuck ’em any other

way. Every girl
I ever
brought home said,

You stand between me
and him,

and how they knew

I”ll never know,
to know it true.

When I was five,
he threw
hunting knives

at my sweaty feet
in the yard.
Playing, my mama

said, but scared
the shit
out of me all

the same. B. J.—
who owned

every house like
a landlord,
and my daddy

hated him for that,
who never
hated anyone, and

made me proud
with his
unwavering hate.

To this living day,
I hate
Daddy beat B. J.

in their mortal
race to
the ground, gave

him the satisfaction
of looking
down. But I know

too the Gospel truth—
the mighty
Buckler of worn-out

land done fixed
a great
gulf ‘twixt them

by the cool river
and them
what beg for drops

of water from
and transmuted hands.


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