(Sarah Burk)

When they said confession was the way
to salvation, the idea must have seemed
satisfactory: Embroider the cloth
they laid before you with scenes of a life

they were desperate to see. They needed
to add rust to the blades of the knives
your brothers would wield, removing
the heads of white gentlemen. Orange threads

gleam among gray threads, the shivs shaped
by the satin stitch creating a smooth
appearance, one thing resembling another
thread become rust, become metal, become

truth difficult to pick out on linen
so white, so thin, so rotten with age. 


Charlotte Holmes

Shannon Estlund, Midnight's Children (found clothing, tulle, vines, tree, branches)

Poet's Commentary:

These six poems are from a linked  collection about the 1741 New York City Slave Conspiracy. In the trials, on the testimony of a single teenaged servant girl, over a hundred slaves were burned at the stake, hung, or sold to the West Indies.