The Tobacco Economy
This is the burley-curing heat of autumn, a light
like the sweat-burnished grain of pegs; this
is the green truck’s unlatched vent and the full moon
rippling on the warehouse roof; this is the river’s
whorled thumbprint, the water’s surface dark as ink.
This is the shell mound and the cover crop, the soaked
dirt gullies of the tilting road; this is the clank
of a hoe’s metal blade and the notched flint prototype
it struck; this is the deep tobacco row; this is the humming,
strained and constant, of the feedstore’s window unit,
the worm-riddled posts of the boundary fence,
and the eye-watering air of the vented barn. He stands,
it seems, downwind of a smoldering heap, and these
are what float back to him like ash flakes crackling with fire.