Leveler Poetry Journal
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Mineral to Marrow


Portrait of the plantation owner

in blue satin — imperious crooked arm,

curled wig, his gaze, opaque.


You can’t read his expression

but move closer to find your reflection

makes you part of this puzzle.


Mineral to marrow, we’re roped

together, beyond grace, in a knot

that cuts too harsh for metaphor.


How did it feel to own another?

The other day, a cop in Georgia

said, we only kill black people.

Aileen Bassis