Cotton/Coffin

Reggie Edmonds

if all the coffins on the plantation are lined with cotton,
                  and all the corpses picked the cotton,
then all the fields buried themselves with their gardeners,
                  and the blood that watered the roots
finally made it back home to comfort the body

when the fields bled out our names,
                  the soft of the casket was already a ghost
what else is better to hold the black body,
                  than what grows from its spillage?
a child should always bury its parent

if all the cotton seeds birthed new plants
                  then all the new plants carry old blood
and a great-great-grandfather softens
                  under a great-great-grandson
even in death, it has always been us that holds us

a son buries a father
                  and the cloth of his bloodline is buried
with his son. somewhere,
                  in the Deep South,
I have a coffin full of someone else’s blood
                  somewhere, there is a field of cotton,
mourning

Reggie Edmonds (they/them)  is a poet, educator, and community organizer based out of Richmond, CA. They are a co-founder of Rich Oak Events, which produce two poetry events in the Bay Area: Alchemy Slam and the Oakland Poetry Slam. They are the 2019 Berkeley Grand Slam Champion, the Poetry Battles Game 6 Champion, the Foglifter Emerging Writer Youth Fellow, and a member of the Afro Urban Society’s 2019-2020 Onye Ozi Fellowship cohort. Their poetry is a map of intersections that describes the world through the viewpoint of a Queer, Black, often sad BoyLitetm, and can be found in Rigorous Magazine and two self published chapbooks I’m Too Black for This Shxt (2017) and Sadboi (2018).

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