|“The South is a Story That Doesn’t Know It’s a Story Telling Stories”|
by Julian X  /  poetry  /  4 Aug 2007
The epitome of the Southern house is an old decrepit plantation
with a tall bird cage on its back porch, a dead bird at the bottom,
all skeleton and loose feathers. And when it burns down, the neighbors gather
to the light, sit, drink beers, talk and listen. They hear bullets exploding,
crashes of collapse, and reminiscences shared by too many around
to hear at once. When each wall collapses in flame, they can see
the room interior, lit by glowing orange, and each voice points out
the objects, a dresser of some old patriarch, a portrait of a grandmother
who walked the battlefields in the war of Northern aggression,
before the flame takes in the room, masking all in rolling orange.
Never is the old man who lived alone there seen, and, after the last wall
falls, the police take some statements. A man named Charlie
provides the motive, saying, “I think he was a homosexual,
think one of his lovers what done this.”
His friend reproaches Charlie when once the cop’s out of earshot.
“Probably passed out in some bar somewhere, and we let out the goose.”
They find him just inside the back door,
just bones and a burned mess of flesh with a bullet somewhere inside.
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