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  • Todd Wooten

Digging

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

I spit on the red Alabama clay.

waist deep. shoveling this crater.

pointless as scrubbing baseboards

twice a week. sharp instruments

in hardened battle. blistering my palms.

twisting the tendons of my wrists.

this clay, colored with the blood of tribes and slaves,

where the sno-cone fields grow, collected in bales,

prepared to spit seeds like sunflower

shells, exhaustion joins me in the pit,

humid breaths struggle into my lungs,

they burn, muscles burn, the world burns

the dome above naps, I dig

day awakens to lips lowered to

possum kissing depths, fingers

run through thick, green hair

collapsed in the inverted bullet

skull struck on the mattock

the dirt engulfs the spilt liquid

matching the soil, the first drops

of a man-made pond

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