Rebecca Black


Little wheel


something gnarls in the blood


in our Arcadia of mayflies.



We make wine from muscadines,


little wheel turning inside my heart.


In January after the crop



floats to Apalachee


other cargo arrives—old men


boot-blacked before the auction block.



Shawl of cassimere, calamus-


root, one small revolver


on offer at Muse & Co.



Little wheel turning, gossypium


grows gossypium grows


along the roads.



Cotton alone does not spin


into cloth     the bridge itself


does not burn     little wheel



turning inside my heart


what’s been must be storied


grist mill     cotton gin



what’s invented      inventoried



“Cottonlandia” first appeared in Poetry, December 2003.