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slavery

I Masturbate Then Pray to God


to forgive me I masturbate 
then pray to God to forgive me 
I masturbate then hate myself 
after scrolling endlessly through 
porn I never find exactly what it is 
that I’m looking for because there is 
no category for my type of desire

Haunted House

I moved into the haunted house
and gutted it to the bones. I wasn’t alone then,

and worked there as a team. 
We evicted squirrels from their vast nutshell nest,

filled dumpsters with fifty years of trash.

Art by Anna Schuleit Haber

Yams

Just then they were all eating yams, candied and still hot from the stove. Golden-brown pieces glistening with sauce that dripped from the serving spoon as it moved between the bowl and the plates. Heavy sweet pieces that clung to their forks, sank and settled on their tongues and then dissolved in a swirl of rich textures.

The girl’s uncle Todd pushed back his chair and reached for the bowl and a second helping. His broad hands pressed across the table, past his water glass and the ladle of gravy, the tea lights and decorative poinsettia, up and over the enormous ham. 

“Why can’t you just ask?” 

Since Appomattox

April 9, 2015

“It was after sunrise of a bright morning when from the Manchester high grounds we turned to take our last look at the old city for which we had fought so long & so hard... The whole river front seemed to be in flames, amid which occasional h [...]

Ariadne Van Zandbergen

A Brief History of Near and Actual Losses

We are at Cape Coast Castle, and Callie refuses to be held. She won’t let me carry her in my arms. She won’t let me put her in the cloth carrier on my back. She won’t ride on her father’s shoulders. She won’t sit astride my hip. She wants to be in charge of exactly where her body goes. She wants both feet on the ground.

Confederate  reenactor with straps.  Gettysburg,  PA, 2011.

Lost Causes

Confederate reenactors take pride in their Southern heritage, but struggle with the centrality of slavery and racism to the Confederacy.

Private family graveyard at Monticello. Charlottesville, VA. (iStockPhoto / Gene Krebs)

Remembering the Randolphs

As soon as I began to ask questions, I realized how much work had gone into no longer asking them, into silences or re-​routings, into omissions, not-​noticings—​into a carefully pruned rhetoric of absence. When I began to realize I wanted the answers to such questions, I realized how afraid I was of asking them at all. 

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