After losing the 1958 Alabama Democratic gubernatorial

                        Primary, Wallace is said to have disappeared for a month,

                        Returning to declare that he’d “never be out-niggered again.”


No guitar. Just the one, quivering string.

Abnegated gut begun to hate itself.

The throat’s weary chords, his hands.


I enter by whiskey, set to

work, retune the flesh.

My favorite music rises.


Everything I touch holds the song

already. The fallen star’s

swallowed question. Hot night wind.


This body’s never quiet.

It sings like a fire.

As he walks off, toward Montgomery,


They fall again. The whole state

burns in the light.









Photo by Oli R