Readings — From the October 2017 issue

Tobacco Shade

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By Dawn Lundy Martin, from Good Stock Strange Blood, which was published in August by Coffee House Press. Martin’s previous book, Life in a Box Is a Pretty Life, won the 2016 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry.

She had been half made with real white blood.

 — Gertrude Stein


She been made

real with half

white blood.

In keeping

with tradition

sun blackening

continued, shoe

got nothing

on the field hand.

If there is a theme

it invades,

under our tongues

like poison seeds,

and we forget

our names.


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