Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

This Black Southern Poor Boy's Blues

Tyree Daye

I’m no choir boy, no
preacher’s son. Fasting is never done
on purpose. Gin or thighs helps me sleep
and both make me forget me for a moment.
Most nights she tells me she loves me,
others blanket us in silence, when even our orgasms
don’t speak. I like Saturday night fixes,
whatever Johnny brings back from New York City.

I’m no choir boy, no preacher’s son.
I learned how to shoot a rifle when I was twelve
and found out what being black could get you.
When you kill a hog you put the bullet behind his ear
and split him open from the top of belly down.
Sixty pounds of meat can feed at least 100 people.
You get the grill real hot before you lay ‘E up there.

I know the feel of church pews
and the smell of reefer. I know how to
balance a checkbook and cash bad checks.
I drink my coffee black and like my
women any color like my uncle told me
it’s all pink on the inside.