The clamor of chains in the dark, embarking on a trip,
in the middle of the ocean, pushing along the trade,
in human cargo,
and never an embargo was discussed.
And thus, in god we trusted, for three hundred years;
the nails were rusted and replaced, by skinny black shadows,
huddled and hunched, and squirming in the paste of death’s stomach;
in the wooden belly of a whitemare, crossing the blue blood of earth.
A wicked poison in the veins of the American birth;
the haunting sound track was the crack of the whip,
and on the ship, the important thing was getting to the end of the trip,
and getting paid, by the owners at the blocks of the slaves.
Yes, those auctions; the cornerstone of the You SSSssss Dollar.
Another African holler in the middle of the night,
as the passage of the package begins, on the whitemare’s flight.
The night was not as dark as the dreams
of the captains, who had already schemed
by counting up the bones on board,
and multiplying by a clotted coefficient.
© 2007 henry toromoreno
Originally published in Downtown Brooklyn, Issue #5, 1996