carolina

it is drops of sweat
dripping
down
down
down
slow as these
July afternoons

it is the slam
of a screen door
and its creaking
that echoes until
eaten
by the humidity
thick as grandma’s accent

it is an alligator
found
on the back porch
of a girl
bronzed
by low country sun

it is tobacco
and it is cotton
and a history
dark
as the lungs
of the man
down the road
who can’t go
without
one pack of Marlboros
each day

it is the boiled peanut
stand
on the side
of a two-lane
road
about an hour
from the coast

it is a twang
like nothing
on the radio
like nothing
on television
for it cannot
be generated
only
passed down
from the mouths
of mothers
singing their babies
to sleep
in tune with
the cicada
and the whistling
palmetto tree
just after dusk
on a Sunday

Shelby Pack is a recent(ish) college graduate who spends her time traveling and freelance writing.

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