Today's poem is by Amaud Jamaul Johnson

Tired Blood

Early stage, the old folks would have noticed
the sheen of metal flaking beneath her skin,
and thought how on the darkest nights of winter,
when cat and smallmouth bass felt safe enough
to take a quick breath, the air seemed to steady
its palm on the crown of the moon, and hold it
just so below the surface of the Brazos River.

When the X-rays came back, we saw Mother
looking like she'd been eased up in the corner
of some red-lit room, Jim Beam and dip tobacco
flavoring each shadow, loud-talk and cussing,
cards like the glint of straight-razors, that image,
like she'd been shifting weight with the Devil
long enough for him to whisper his real name
in her mouth, leave his handprint along her waist.

Copyright © 2014 Amaud Jamaul Johnson All rights reserved
from Darktown Follies
Tupelo Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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