Cotton (From down the Hill)

“Come pick cotton husks

the misses’ refuses to

Please help us

We don’t know what to do.”


I walk down, obligingly sweet.

Singing along to the cardinal’s tweet.

Bopping my feet to an imagined beat

Not knowing it was you I had to meet.


I arrive, peel apart the cotton husks.

Dust caking my fingers, thorns pricking my hands

I work patiently, lungs soon filled with saccharine musk

Suddenly, you burst in, a Conquistador in a new land.


You greet me, and I reciprocate.

You smile, but I vacillate.

I, nervous, contemplate.

What to say to avoid your hate


We continue working, trapped in the same tiny office

You, tapping away on keys 

Me, sorting plants, cotton threads filling the orifices

inside my nose and lungs as i split seeds.


We make small talk

even go so far as going for a little walk.

You scream  when we see a snake, though I don’t mock.

You glare when I demurely ask about the doc.


We’ve realized, we speak the same, soft babied voices

We both bite our lips when we contemplate hard choices.

Melanations cover our oval faces

And everyone says we are made of the same gentle graces.


Say hi to him for me, I say, close to tears

“I will”, you say, eyeing the huge pile of cotton, amazed.

My heart races, my mind overwhelmed by fears.

You go home to him, worried, stymied, dazed.


I’m done picking cotton, ma’am

The Missus is completely surprised

On the tabletop lies a pile larger than a lamb

I leave the office, soul vaporized


I walk up, back home.

My mind has gone to roam

Thoughts as fertile as freshly tilled loam

Dark thoughts, my soul has lost its centered zone.


Do you fear my sensuality, or just me?

We aren’t that similar, are we?

Do I fear you, or what you can do?

What can I really do to you?




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