From the Blog

Fever Season

          Yellow Fever Epidemic, New Orleans, 1853

Work doesn't stop for blood
born to immunity—someone has to load
steamboats, boil sugar, stack wood.

So scientists race
their hypotheses, each virus
and microbe, pronounce whiteness

too frail to toil under a vertical sun
at swamp-clearing, cane-
cutting, cotton-picking,
 maintain

black men and women immune
only when enslaved: freedom weakens
the constitution.

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