BRIEF INSTRUCTIONS FOR WRITING AN OUTLAW COUNTRY SONG ABOUT THE JENA SIX
DANTE DI STEFANO
Call the lily that grows in a gully
regret and croon toward her in the dark.
Call back the ghosts of your lynched ancestors.
Call back the ghosts that your ancestors lynched.
Call back the hurt you put on paradise
when the woman you loved left the earth
like a cut rose tossed on a compost heap.
Call back the twang of the termite, eating
empty coffins propped up before the showdown.
There is no gate in the gap between us
and God; even glory wears a long black veil.
There is no fence between heaven and hell.
There’s a deep gulf that forms a chasm no man
can cross and no girl can lilt a song past.